Last Friday I returned home from a trip to Haiti. My church is heavily involved with a group of local churches there and I was asked to go so that I could see the work that we are involved with and to assist with a seminar for the local pastors. I tried to mentally prepare myself knowing that the majority of Haiti is still devastated from the earthquake 18 months ago. Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw.
There was still a fair amount of rubble pouring out into the streets from the ruined buildings. There was still trash on the sides of the streets. People were still living in tent cities and children were still playing in the broken streets with deflated soccer balls. While these things were hard to see…I was prepared for them. I was not prepared to have my idea of faith…how I view God’s provision and my trust in Him…completely turned upside down.
5 When he entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, 6“Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.” 7And he said to him, “I will come and heal him.”8But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith. 11I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, 12 while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed at that very moment.
Matthew 8:5-13 (ESV)
I have come to understand that my faith has been stunted by my circumstance. This is not meant to be a cop out or an excuse, I fully hold myself accountable for any lack of faith and do aspire to grow spiritually. I have allowed myself to become soft and all too often float through the day without consulting God. Let’s be honest…many of us are willingly held back in our faith because of our comforts. Because we want for very little we have the tendency to view ourselves in control and disregard God’s provision. What if our belief was like the centurions? What if we lived lives with the kind of faith that baffled Jesus? This was the kind of faith that I saw when I was in Haiti.
Our host in Haiti was a man named Martinez Jovin. Martinez is in his early seventies and has lived an extraordinary life. He was born in the village of Marbial in the mountains of Haiti and now lives in Port-au-Prince completely surrounded by tent cities. He has also lived in France and studied in England. Martinez is the founder of an organization that has created local churches, schools, and orphanages throughout Haiti. He is a man of many great accomplishments (obviously by God’s provision), but the most impressive thing about Martinez is his faith. Rock solid and steadfast…he has the humble faith that moves mountains. Time and time again Martinez would baffle me with stories of God’s provision in his life…provision in the form of protection, sustenance, and grace. Without hesitation or wavering he would softly speak of his need to pray and simply trust that God will provide.
So often we set out on these trips with the mindset that we will be blessing and helping others. I thought that we would go and impart some wisdom to pastors and see what we could do…I never thought that I would return with a new understanding of how I should trust God. This type of faith was common among the Christians that we met in Haiti. Even though they had so little by our standards they were rich with a deep faith…a faith that stems out of their passion and love for God and the gospel of Christ.
It is my desire to have this kind or faith. It is my desire to trust God in all things…both big and small and to never waiver. Someday, I would love to stand before my Savior and know that He marveled at my faith in Him. I have made the decision to come home and truly live a life consumed by faith in God. It is my prayer that God will give you the opportunity to see this kind of faith. Faith that challenges you to the point of change. It is my prayer that you too will submit to a lifestyle of faith that Jesus would marvel at.
Posted on October 28, 2011, in Christian Living, Spiritual Disciplines and tagged Christianity, Church, Church Ministry, Faith, Family Ministry, Pastor, Religion, Student Ministry, Youth Ministry, Youth Pastor, Youth Work. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.