What I Witnessed
As I sit here listening to Matthew West’s “Do Something”, I am reflecting this Sunday on all of the mission trips I have gone on. I reflect on our visit to the kids in Haiti and hearing the part of the song where West sings to God, “Why don’t you do something” when it comes to the pain and suffering of the world and God responds “I did, I created you.” That is a huge five-word response that shut me up and opened my ears the first time I heard it on the radio. Now to me, it can be an ego thing to sit there and think that God created me to help others in need, but I want to focus on the reverse. God created our brothers and sisters living and working in Haiti as well to teach us lessons and to reach out to us.
Let me start with the kids and their smiles – what a life they have huh? We take for granted day in and day out what we have here. How lucky we are to have what we have. God has blessed us beyond what we deserve, even though sometimes we look at others and think we deserve more.
We visited with these kids who may not understand the world, what is in it, what they could have and what they may never have. They may not even have the time on this earth that most of us have, but two things they do have stood out to me the most.
First is love from a staff of people who work tirelessly every hour of every day to make sure they are provided for, a staff that will make sure that they are protected, fed, and kept comfortable. Right there, God provided for those kids. The second thing is smiles. Sitting down on the porch taking a break one afternoon, I watched Ron walk to where the kids were sitting and their faces lit up with smiles as he played and talked with them. What greater gift does a person need than being able to smile, having someone with the gift to make them laugh during the day? Love and laughter, no other blessings are greater than those two right there in my opinion. Thank you to the kids, the staff and Ron for showing that to me over the week.
The second item I witnessed our week there was the night I awoke thinking we were under attack by a mob. It felt like it was 2:00 or 3:00 am but I found out it was closer to 10:00 pm when I was awakened by the most passionate worship I’ve heard in years. As soon as one of the songs, which was sung in Creole or French, became a bit familiar, I realized the staff was holding worship out back and man were they worshipping! Now I am sure you have heard of what the area is like, the electricity being cut any point of the day, the need to live behind a giant wall and locked gate, the heat with no air conditioning, but their worship to God was one of the most passionate I have ever heard.
Some of us look at mission trips as having to give a lot of our things up that we live with for a week. Yes it is tough and I am not trying to criticize anyone for feeling that they feel like something special for doing so, I am one whose ego has put those thoughts in my head a few times, but what the staff taught me that night is no matter where you are, what situation you have in life, your thankfulness to God should be the greatest passion you express. Now we can argue about the situation and why God would put people in certain situations, but as we waste our time arguing, they are spending their time worshipping and praising.
So God created me, to help Rich put screen doors together for the house; created me to work with almost the entire group to build the wall. He also created the kids and staff to teach me lessons for the week. He created all of us to help out and teach each other in many ways. So this trip wasn’t a mission trip for me to help others but one that God created by putting a group of brothers and sisters together in one place for a period of time to help each other, teach each other and build up His family
The work was secondary. The time together between those who traveled, those who live and work there and the kids was what was created by God to benefit us all.