Thursday, March 3, 2011
How much faith do I need?
So what is it we are here for anyway? I ask myself that question everyday sometimes multiple times and each day I seem to get a different answer. So much sadness, poverty, loss yet so much joy, happiness and hope. This is a truly confusing, weird place. each day we see the extremes of life. The rich driving a Ferrari (yes we have seen a new ferrari in Haiti totally insane considering the size of the pot holes on most roads.), visiting rockstars coming in for a brief photo opportunity, ex murderous dictators flying back in to the country on a whim, a seemingly never ending election campaign and amongst all the weird crazy stuff there is normal people trying to live.
Sure like all 3rd world countries, there are the shysters trying to make a living off the misery of others, and it is a national sport to charge the blan (white) guy, as much as possible. But there are millions of normal warm and friendly people that we see everyday just trying to survive.
I wake up and feel tired after a long day the day before and complain about having to get up. Then I drive down the street to see a lady in her late sixties carrying a full basket of vegetables on her head. She walks along the road all day hoping to sell her produce hoping to make $2 for the day. Where’s her superannuation fund where’s her retirement plan. Does life end for her, a few days after she is know longer strong enough to walk down the streets carrying that basket on her head?
Everyday kids in the street ask “Please give me a dollar” Its about all the english they know. I find myself constantly torn I don’t want to give them a dollar because it teaches them that begging is profitable but how is this serving the least of these.
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Each day is a challenge life is hard here, nothing is easy and nothing happens quickly, and for people that like to achieve things that is hard to come to terms with. We have struggled with tasks that would have taken a day back home and we barely get it achieved in 3 weeks. Or a simple installation of a door handle took Barry 4 frustrating trips. As christians we know that there is a battle going on, but I have never seen it so open and obvious as I do in Haiti. So many needs surround us everyday. Its not that nothing is being done because there are a lot of good things being done but there is just so much to do.
So here I was crumbling under the weight of responsibility and a desire to meet the needs of the people we where called to serve. That night a very elderly couple checked into the guesthouse we are currently living and serving at.
These are beautiful God honouring servants that have been in the battle for 70 plus years. Errol has made 33 plus trips to Haiti and his love for the people is obvious. As we sat down for dinner together Errol asked me if I had seen a mustard seed? I answered no I hadn’t but I would love to. I had recently been wandering what one looked like because I had recently been reading the scripture verse that talks about the mustard seed.
Errol proceeded to pull out his business card and give it to me there laminated to the card was the tiniest seed I had ever seen and the verse I had only recently been reading.
Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible. ”
Then Kathy told us of an orphanage that Errol new of. The orphanage looked out over the ocean but a mountain was in the way, so the children could not see the water. One day in their bible study they read the verse Matthew 17:19-21. They decided that they would start praying for the mountain to move so that they could see the water. They finished dinner and prayed together that God would move the mountain. They awoke the next morning to see the mountain was still there. Not discouraged they decided to pray all day for the mountain to move. They went to bed that night and when they awoke the next morning the mountain was still there. They decided they hadn’t prayed enough so they decided to pray for the whole day and night.
The next morning a government official knocked on the door to advise them that they where beginning work to flatten the mountain to build an airstrip. What a mighty God we serve, and what a blessing it was that he would send two humble servants to remind us of his awesome power.
So we have a choice.... We can hold onto the ever weightier burden of meeting the needs of the people we encounter until we are crushed and useless, or instead we can cast our burdens back on the one who called us here. After all Haiti and its people are His and His alone. I feel better just typing that. Now lets get to praying so that I actually cast my burdens instead of just talking about it.
Please join with us and pray for us when ever you think of us. This is a much tougher place than we thought and we and Haiti really need your prayers.
Team B and B