Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Not even close

It was one year ago today that Haiti was struck with a devastating earthquake.

A lot has been done to help the country and its people over this last year. But we’re not even close to healing the wounds that were suffered and the problems the country had even before the quake struck.

I had the privilege to go to Haiti in October. Some of you may have read my posts from that time. Thank you for caring and praying. If you’ve gone, thank you for going. If you’ve sent, thank you for sending.

I saw a lot of hope while I was in Haiti. They are a resilient people. I did not work with North Carolina Baptist Men or Samaritan’s Purse, who are sending many teams down to help. Both these organizations are doing a wonderful job.

I did go with a group from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, where I am a student. We helped at Canaan Christian Community near Montrouis. This compound has a medical clinic and a school for children with and without families. They also coordinate with a network of pastors across Haiti in getting resources and supplies to where they are most needed.

I was praying before I went to Haiti and continue to lift up prayers. Seeing a glimpse of the devastation and the needs of the people makes it personal.

Each year Southern Baptists set aside certain times for offerings and prayer for various mission endeavors. During Christmas I prayed for various people groups that the International Mission Board focused on for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, and soon it will be time to concentrate on prayer for the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering.

As a former North American Mission Board missionary I know how important prayer is to those serving on the field. As someone who prays I know that having specific prayers helps me feel a part of what is going on around the world.

I am blessed to have numerous friends willing to go wherever God calls. I am thankful for them and their heart of service. What about you?

Have you gone? Have you prayed?

When I’ve gone on mission trips in the past, someone always asks, “Why are you going there when there are needs here?”

Nothing I’ve ever done before has opened my eyes to the needs around me like going on a mission trip. Haiti was actually my first foreign mission trip. Most of my trips and service have been on a local and nation basis.

Going on missions is a time of concentrated prayer and service. It will wear you out physically, mentally and spiritually. But it will also give you a different perspective on your circumstances.

Generally the person who asks that question has never been anywhere to serve and doesn’t freely open his wallet or her pocketbook for anyone. They might attend church regularly but it is not a personal relationship they are having. It is a public act they fulfill in their community.

Lord, help them to see the needs around them but to also be open and available to help or go to places outside their comfort zone.

We’re not even close. No, we’re not. But God wants us to be a praying people seeking His guidance in what seems like insurmountable circumstances.

I serve a great and mighty God. I pray you do to!