As the departure date for Haiti approaches (April 2nd!!!), I find myself increasingly eager to begin the trip. I've received all my shots and pills, I've collected gear and supplies, I've fasted (13 of 21 days done so far) and prayed. And yet I'll never feel fully ready to go. At the end of the day, I may be safe from Typhoid and Malaria, I may have a blood pressure cuff and a stethoscope, but I'll never feel fully prepared. That's where I get to do all I can do and trust God to do the rest. I get to give Him my weaknesses, my failures and shortcomings, and see Him shine in the midst. I fully expect Him to work in great ways in our team and in the people we meet. And the more I pray, the more my heart yearns to engage with the Haitians, the more my perception of their pain comes into focus. I cannot imagine what changes they have been through in the past 14 months, nor can I begin to understand the depth of sorrow they've experienced. But I long to be with them, to share a smile, to validate their pain, to encourage and pray with them.
Brooke Fraser's "Flags" has been my theme song of the month. Click here to listen to this amazing song. I sense my emotions triggering when I hear "reality has left you reeling" and it's just downhill from there. It's rare to end the song with a dry eye, yet Brooke's poignant prose speak of something oh so hopeful. It's got God's promises spelled right out:
You who mourn will be comforted
You who hunger will hunger no more
Oh the last shall be first, of this I am sure
In Luke 6, just after choosing His disciples, Jesus makes these promises to them. It is with this truth settled deep within me that I will pray with expectation as I walk on Haitian soil. That is the hopeful part...but there's also the part that haunts me every time.
While apathy acts like an ally
My enemy and I are one and the same
Uuuugh, it just makes me grown inwardly. How often am I apathetic towards those who mourn, those who hunger, those who weep? Do we turn away and move on or turn towards and press in? It's easier to just move on, but we're called to press in. The Great Comforter has commissioned us to be His hands and feet. We are the physical embodiment of His Spirit on earth. If we turn the other way, who will be there? I'm challenged to think of where I miss opportunities, where I let my busyness distract me from seeing the need of those calling out. Preparing for this trip has made me aware of not only the needs in a far off country, but also the needs of those in our own circles. Sure it takes courage to fly to a foreign country and share Christ's love. But isn't it just as courageous to extend your hand to those right here?
In light of recent natural disasters - the earthquake in Christchurch, NZ (which was close to home for me) and now the wreckage in Japan - I'm also challenged to not just feel sadness at the weight of the tragedy, but to DO something! No, we can't jump on a plane to every country in need, but we can pray...unceasingly. Let's set ourselves apart from the enemy, raise our weapons, and fight the spiritual battle in prayer for them!