The sun rises early in Haiti. Dogs barking, roosters crowing, it’s time to peel myself out of bed as all of creation is shouting and begging me to wake up. What will I experience today?
Yesterday I witnessed things I had never dreamed of. I held a screaming infant as infections were scraped from his sores. I passed out bags of rice and beans and saw true despair as a crowd of people kept growing and the number of bags kept shrinking.
I wondered about the Jesus I learned about in Sunday School. The one who multiplied loaves of sourdough and red snapper for thousands and thousands of people. Where was that guy yesterday? What is He going to do today?
This is a type of thought process that can well up inside of us while on a mission trip. I have asked God to teach me, and to help me process through what I have experienced. I cannot be a missionary and not have my heart break for people suffering around the world, and It’s in this brokenness that I found the healing power of Christ.
There is this mango tree. Every morning before we go into the community to serve, we meet there and someone shares a devotional thought with the rest of us. It’s a way to center ourselves, focus on Christ, and come together before getting our work on. This day was special as our local partner, Pastor Noelle, shared what was on his heart.
He opened his Bible to John 14:6 and with a powerful voice that didn’t seem tired enough for this hour of the morning he says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…”
He begins to share a deeply moving and powerful message about the difference between “A truth” and “THE truth”.
He says, “This country is hungry, thirsty, naked, and sick. That is A truth. But this is THE truth: Christ has a plan, His ways are higher than ours, and He is doing great things here and now.”
When we talk about “A truth” we are talking about things that are temporary. “The truth” is that Christ is eternal and his love knows no bounds. He will triumph over every evil. He is our Lord and soon every tongue will sing, and every knee will bow at His beautiful name. He will make all things new, that is the truth.
Are there other areas in my life that I focus too much on problems that are only temporary? Do I have enough money for gas and lunch today? Am I impressing my boss? I just got a rejection letter from my chosen college, what now? I am failing, but I am trying, should I give up? I sometimes forget the words of that old hymn, Keep Your Eyes Upon Jesus. When I take my eyes off of Him, who is THE truth, I get confused and my mind starts to play tricks. I would go as far as to say this is a tool the enemy uses to bring me down and keep me distracted. I am constantly reminding myself to change perspective and focus on Christ.
And so I had to come to grips with the fact that today might look a lot like yesterday. I will continue to pass out bags of rice and beans. I will continue to doctor the wounds of the injured. But I have brand new eyes.
Pastor Noelle reminded me that every ounce of food I pass out shines a light on “THE truth” and the very act of praying for a sick person has an eternal value. There is hope in Haiti, His name is Jesus, and He is at work.
The question remains, will you join Him?