I wonder what Abraham was thinking about the night after God told him that his offspring would populate the earth. I imagine he was probably up late, unable to sleep and wondering if God had the wrong guy. Was he stoked about it ready to take on the responsibility? Was he nervous, trying to evaluate if he was worthy? Maybe he sat staring into a fire, hoping that God would give him some more information on how it was all going to unfold.
And what about Sarah, how did she take the news? Think about your great grandma knitting a sweater when her husband walks in and tells her that she is about to go through many long years of child bearing.
As the sun rose this morning and Haiti began to come alive, John and I climbed on the back of Jean Robert’s motorcycle to visit a family who was receiving a new house. They had been living in a shack made of scrap metal that they had salvaged from around the dump. Any chicken coup in the United states would look like the Marriot compared to the quality of their house. This is not unusual for the country of Haiti. In fact, it is dreadfully the status quo.
As the day progressed, we traveled around on foot to families who could not attend church or school because they didn’t have any shoes. The children in many of the communities lived their lives without clothes because food was a priority over nudity. We delivered gifts of donated clothes and made sure they felt welcome at church despite their situation.
There is a comic strip that my mom taped to our refrigerator back in the U.S. a few years ago. In the cartoon, one lady is talking to her friend about their spring break plans. One friend asks the other why she would spend her vacation days in a third-world country, and how could one person possibly make an ounce of change. The response was blunt, “Well, I don’t think they really need me in Orlando this year.”
The Christian buzzword of “calling” can sometimes be overused and over-dramaticised, but God has shown me, beyond a shred of doubt that Haiti is where I am supposed to be at this time in my life. To what capacity has always been a question, and I have definitely had my wrestlings, but God’s plan always has a way of forming around the decisions you make. The main question that trips me up is the same question that any ministry has to face, how do I measure my fruit? How do you know that what you are doing is what God want’s you to do, and how do you know if you are making an impact?
I think that on this subject we can take a lesson from Abraham’s story. There is no way that one man and woman could have a billion babies, but God can take their few offspring to multiply into great nations. Of course, by the time those nations are formed, Abraham is long gone. He most likely left this earth without a feeling of accomplishment, knowing that he hadn’t been able to have children as numerous as the stars.
This theme continues throughout the bible. Moses died before getting to the promised land, Joseph talked about the exodus of Israel on his death bed, and Rahab had no idea what she was doing was actually a piece of the puzzle. Truthfully, that’s is the best we can do, let God shape us into who we need to be and allow ourselves to be a piece of the puzzle.
I liked that, so we are going to run with it a little bit more. When you look at an entire puzzle, you don’t ever focus on a specific piece for too long, you look at the beautiful picture we are making. And as long as we do what God wants us to do and not merely where our heart leads us, we can’t go wrong.
I also want to touch on the other question of how we measure fruit if we don’t get to see the full picture in this life. I read one author put it like this, and I’m paraphrasing, there is an ocean of work to do and all I have is an eye dropper. You will never be able to drain the entire ocean, but you can fill your eye dropper one drop at a time.
This trip is eye opening not because of the new things that I am seeing, but the truths that I am accepting about long-term mission. It is not about how great of a program we create or how many people we lead to Jesus, it is only about doing what we can with what we are given, then giving all the credit to the one who gave it to us.
As we pray together and cast more vision about the amazing things God is and will be doing on the AIM property, I am reminded of Abraham’s story. We will not be able to change Haiti on our own, but we will be able to follow God’s vision. Rest in obedience, not in results.