Saturday, September 24, 2011

The List

110923: The List
Tonight I met the pastor of the church by the Mountain School.  A few days ago we’d met, and I asked him for the list from his congregation with names of the persons who needed Bibles.   He told me,
“Just bring about 50.”  
I didn’t like the idea of bringing a couple of cases and just dropping them, so I told him I wouldn’t do that.
This morning I was going to make the trip to his church, but it rained good and steady, enough to know I’d never make it down or up the steep gulches to his church, so I cancelled my plans.
Then late in the afternoon there came a knock on my door, and it was the pastor.  He’d come down from the mountain to me, and tucked in his Bible was the list.  
58 names in all.
Members of his church who say they need Bibles.
Now I’ve said before I’m inclined to pray for more provision before I stop handing out Bibles, but it would just about wipe me out all over again.  It took me almost 3 weeks to hand deliver 50.  In 1 day, I could hand out the same amount and more.  
So I guess this is where I ask for your prayer and intercession, fellow Christians, to help me discern what options are best.   Walk up the mountain delivering them face to face and one by one, meet desperate souls in the hospital clinic who come from all over, or hold church-wide distributions where cases upon cases will go at a time?  I’ve never been a numbers guy, and I don’t think the Lord is really into quantity over quality either, so your prayerful counsel would be appreciated.
Will all 58 of these people treasure their Bible, read it and cherish the Word in their hearts?  Maybe in a perfect world, but this is Haiti.  Might there be a shady deal or two, a Bible sold for money?  Sure, anything could happen.   People are hungry.  Children are malnourished and the homeless bounce from house to house.  There’s not hardly a job to be found, and times are hard.  Desperation for many is a part of living here, even though it’s discreet.  
Most people don’t broadcast their troubles in this rural area.  They are proud, and most don’t want to hold out their palms to you unless they have to.  
Some see the Bible in my hand as the life-giving Word that it is.  Others see it as $64 Haitian Dollars, or roughly $320 Goude.   To put that in perspective, you can buy two loaves of bread, each about the size of a man’s hand, for $10 Goude.  So in effect, that Bible can feed their soul from here until the day they die, or it can feed their stomach every day for more than a month.  
Now let’s say you’re a mom with kids at home, and your husband is long since out of the picture...
See, it’s easy in America, where we can make a trip any time we please to the grocery store.  We are a corn-fed, grade-A, pasteurized, FDA stamped, 90% lean beef kind of people.  
We can look down because they might choose to tell me whatever sounds good to get that Bible and sell it, but what would you do?  How much faith would it take for you to choose to go hungry while you feast on the Word of God?  How long would we last without our silver spoons?
I tell people when I give them a Bible that this is a great treasure for them from God.  What more can I say?  It is what it is.  What they choose to do with their treasure is not up to me.  That’s between them and God.  I am to be obedient to His call for me to give them out and to disciple with anyone who wants to be desperate for the Lord along with me.  Anything more is beyond my scope for the time being, and that’s just the way I think He planned it. 

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