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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Perhaps We Have More To Learn From Them...

People often ask me why on earth I want to go to Haiti so badly, and I don't have any clear answers, other than to say I truly do feel led to go there. Of course a big reason I even started thinking of visiting Haiti was to visit two of my sponsored children, Islamine and Sarafina.

The more I read about Haiti, the more I am fascinated with those who live there. It just isn't Haiti really, it's anywhere where there is such extreme poverty and yet at the same time a faith and hope we just don't often see anywhere else.

Many people plan mission trips to help or minister to those living in developing nations such as Haiti, but I wonder who really has more to learn from whom?

I have read over and over of the churches of Haiti being so overflowing that people are literally standing in the doors, sticking their heads in the windows, doing whatever they can to hear the Word. I ask, where in America do you hear of such a thing? Maybe my small rural community is just different than the rest of the country, but we have eleven or so churches, and I guarantee you they are not overflowing by any means! I can promise you can not only find a vacant seat or two on any given Sunday, but most likely several vacant rows!

Why I wonder? We claim to be a Christian nation, but do we act like one? Church for most of America seems to be a drudgery, a chore, or perhaps even a duty, not something we actually want to do. Most would much rather be at the beach or a ball game or anywhere really but at a boring, dull church. Perhaps that is it.....See in Haiti and other such places church is a celebration. People still dress in their Sunday best, there is singing to the Lord in praise, and dancing and joy! Here, it seems it is either a dull going through the motions with little joy or any other emotion, heaven forbid someone says the wrong part of the liturgy at the wrong time, or the wrong candle gets lit or something not in the proper sequence. Or on the other hand when there is singing in dancing in church it is more to entertain the goers than to praise the Lord.

Perhaps that is why I want to go to a place like Haiti, to see a real living faith in action. These people depend on God for everything down to each days meal. Here we are so blessed and have such an abundance of everything, that I feel many feel like they don't need God. Have you noticed that those who have been out of the church for a while will briefly return when going through a crisis? Or after a horrific event such as 911? I suspect as the economy worsens we will see more people filling up the pews as well. Then things go well again, and those seats become empty once again.

I wonder how those in places such as Haiti would feel if they saw us, we who sent money or went on missions to teach them about God, saw our faith in action? What would they see? Would they see anything beyond our Sunday morning obligatory worship? What would they see the rest of the week?

Yes, I know we have lots of things we can teach them, but I wonder what we could learn from them if we didn't let pride get in the way and had open hearts and minds?

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