"I think it's about starting conversations about our differences in thinking."
I jotted this sentence down, while on a Haiti related phone call recently. The problem that missionaries and aid organizations run into so often is a difference in thinking. This complication stretches far and wide, there have been many books written about this issue. We want to love, we want to hep, this is simple, yes? No. The way other cultures view love and acts of kindness is different. I am worried about running into this problem. I will run into this problem. To help prepare I will read the books, I will continue to familiarize myself with Haitian culture, but I must pray. I must not forget about Jesus. He can prepare my heart to make the right moves and have the right reactions. He will prepare the Haitians. I believe that when I am in Haiti (that part itself is still hard to believe most days) the Lord will open up opportunities for a young American girl and a community of Haitians to have conversations that are open, loving and understanding. Our ways of thinking are so different, but with our eyes set on Jesus, we are bound to end up in the right place, together.
The promises of God will always be fulfilled. When I taught in the children's ministry at Brook Hills, we taught the children to stand on and believe the promises of God like our lives depended on it, but somehow I still take that for granted.
My friend Emily, is heading to Haiti too and I know her heart and my own run many parallels. She wrote me about missing Haiti, how it can feel like your heart is missing. Emily is so wise and I am so lucky to have her in my life. When Emily struggled with missing Haiti, the Lord showed her an incredible parallel in scripture. God himself was separated from his son for 33 years. Thirty-three years. God yearned and ached for Jesus to be with Him, but God knew the promise He had made to send a redeemer. God endured heartbreak, for us. The hurt I feel does not even compare.
God endured pain because He made a promise. Scripture is filled with promises and each one, is fulfilled. People are fed, babies are born, a Savior comes and is crucified, we are redeemed. God's promises stand forever, they are guaranteed. I must believe Him, I have all the evidence. God has never let me down before, not on a true promise, from Him.
God promised me Haiti, the desire in my heart is from Him, for Him. He promised me that He would provide. God promised these things and they will be fulfilled. I can endure the heartbreak, He knows one far greater. Not only that, but my heartbreak, the time I have to wait, is a mere blink in His plan.
So today, I relish in the chance to grow closer to God, to understand His heart, because now I can better share His heart.
I write about missing Haiti a lot, but it is because most days I cannot escape the heartbreak. I only want my feet on Haitian soil. Some days are harder than others, and some days, like Haiti, are a beautiful juxtapositions of joy and heartbreak. I am joyful because I have precious servant friends serving God in my home. I am heartbroken because they are there and I simply am not. This feeling is different from envy, it is much deeper, but it is impatience. My impatience is unfair to God, who has a perfect plan. He is gracious though, and He will let me rest in it anyway. Sometimes, God just allows us to wallow in a pint of ice cream while He holds our hand. I believe, He lets me thirst to be in Haiti so deeply because this keeps the fire lit, this keeps me going when the stress of picking up and moving to a third world country feels unbearable. The to-do list is growing but my desire grows faster. I pray for my friends, I shed a few tears and I work on my to-do list because His ways are perfect and there is a race to run.
Currently, I am trying to teach my preschoolers the word "unique", while I myself am learning how unique our God really is. His sense of humor and ability to meet us right where we are continues to amaze me. This week, I again had sweet time with precious friends as I begin to feel the transition out of a difficult season and into one of blessings and grace. Our gracious Lord also got my attention through a few "unique" avenues; prophecy, white water rafting, a John Mayer song and a lost house key.
Yesterday, while white water rafting, I learned about just riding the wave, and I think it is safe to say that there is a bigger lesson for us in that.