Written in December of 2015
Two months ago I went on a mission trip to Haiti. I was going to spread a little of Christ’s love, be extremely hot and uncomfortable while I did it (because that shows I love Jesus A LOT), and return a week later to the comforts of my “first world” life. The reality of what God wanted to use me for when I was there was much different. We were serving in medical clinics, meeting the needs of a different community each day, loving on people, and being the hands and feet of Christ. It was great and God was using us. A few days into the trip our Missions Director said, “Come on, lets go look at an orphanage up the road.” Now, where we were working and staying was across the street from an orphanage. We had the opportunity to play with the kids, hang out, and see the provision in how God was taking care of the children at Alex’s House. So when I was asked to go to another orphanage a few miles away, I was certainly game.
When we drove up I was blown away. This orphanage was not the same as the one I had been at all week. This one had a kitchen that consisted of a rock ring on the ground and one big pot used to feed 30 children every day. There was a useless gate attached to a nonexistent wall that was placed there for safety. There was a hole in the ground for a restroom. The front wall of the church had fallen down. But this is what else I saw, a pastor and his wife with the light of Jesus in their eyes and a welcoming hug and smile. Children with smiles on their faces who wanted to play with us. I could barely contain my emotions. I left thinking that there is poverty everywhere in Haiti, but this one community that God allowed my feet to walk through… we can do something about this pocket right here?
Through the rest of the trip I was trying to process the entire experience. Why had God let me see this? He surely wanted me to do something about it, but what exactly? How could we ever accomplish it? The task was large and would take a lot of money. On our own we could never accomplish it. We returned to the United States on Saturday afternoon and for the next 24 hours I couldn’t really even talk about the trip. I couldn’t put it into words yet. Sunday evening when I walked into church service, after thanking God 100 times for the blessing of air conditioning and flushable toilets, I started to see His plan. I cried throughout the entire worship time. As we transitioned to the offering the verse that came on the screen was 2 Corinthians 9:9-10, “9 As the Scriptures say,
‘They share freely and give generously to the poor.
Their good deeds will be remembered forever.’
10 For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.”
I had my answer. God has placed the opportunity that people and churches pray for all the time right in our lap. We ask God to show us what we are supposed to do to show his love and bring his message to others. We were given not only an orphanage, but an entire community consisting of the orphanage, school, church, and about 500 people spread out before us like a banquet table just waiting to be touched. I knew that the question of ‘Should we?” turned into the knowing that God was saying “Shame on you if you don’t.” The task at hand was still as difficult as I had first realized, but now I had no doubt that is was what God had called us to do and He would be the one to provide and make a way.
As I walked into our Lead Pastor’s office Monday morning after the trip for a debriefing, I shared my experience. He asked me if I felt we were suppose to adopt this community, and I finally verbalized what God had made so clear, “Shame on us if we don’t.” As we both sat with crocodile tears in our eyes we knew God had called us to adopt Barbencourt community. We had now added a few more people to our family. The task is huge and it will take time and resources we don’t have yet. We are stepping out in faith and being obedient to what God has called us to do, to be the beautiful feet that bring the message of Good News that Isaiah 52:7 talks about.
What is your Barbencourt? What is the thing God has put in front of you that He is asking you to do? Step out in faith my friend. Our God is big enough to handle the task at hand and allow us to have an active part in it.