Wednesday, October 31, 2012

In Spite of Us All

One intentional native missionary is going to have more impact on his own people than 100 American missionaries with American agendas, coming from a world so foreign to their own.  For us, the fallback seems to lurk in the back of the mind that we can always just throw our hands up and head for home.  Why do we think in such terms?  There is no calendar to X out the days 'until we get to go home'.
Home isn't here, as in, it isn't here, on this planet.  Not for any Christian.  If you think, right now, you're home, one day you'll be rudely awakened to the reality of your illusions to grandeur. 

We can Google our philosophical God questions all day long, and soak knowledge from the world's best scholars. But in Haiti today, they have a Bible only translated 30 years ago, and not translated very well at that. That's if they have a Bible.  Throw on top of that the dogma of 50 years of missionaries telling them if they smoke, drink or chew or hang out with girls that do, they aren't Christian.  Paint your toenails, wear earrings, or don't wear the proper shoes and you won't be accepted.  Oh yes, and you're not really saved if you haven't been baptized... Because apparently someone with 'credentials' decided that Jesus dying on the cross wasn't enough.  It's Jesus AND the water that paid the price for you??  Let alone Vodoo and a distorted Catholicism, historically dedicating the country to satan, and what are these kids supposed to think?  Heap on the latest babble we are hearing from the local Jehovah Witness church about how Jesus isn't God and didn't die on a cross, and then our Christian brothers who could help yet don't, because they have their minds somewhere else and don't want to bless these people because it doesn't fit the current thought of the day, you know, structure of the church and all.

Now here is the kicker, they get a wretch like me to stand up and tell them about Jesus.  They don't even get a CT Studd, shooting crocodiles in one hand and baptizing souls with the other in the infested rivers...they just get a sinful fool, a man who sold everything and still can't get the silver spoon out of his butt.  Yep, I've sold just about all of it but I'd still rank in the top 5% of the richest people in the world.

HOW do they even have a chance?! Only by the grace of God!  And that chance is real!  God is working!  In spite of it all. 
One of the boys in our class now has a mother who is a witch doctor.  He's already told her he's not interested in keeping up the family tradition.  Do we have any idea what kind of guts that takes in Haiti today?
The girl we've sponsored for years came to the house tonight.  We swam in the ocean, my family and her.  She's tough as nails.  One look at her and I know she will live out her days as close to the edge as possible.  I can see that fire in her eyes.  Abused from slavery, 13-years old and not even a Kindergarten education, yet today she still trusted me to carry her into the deeper water.   
I held her in the water while she giggled.  'How?   How does she still find a place in her heart, to giggle?'

Only Christ can push through all that, only that kind of goodness can penetrate this kind of evil.
Tomorrow I'm supposed to stand up and speak to a church about discipleship.   Me?  
I don't need a book, or a scholar, or a professor, or an Einstein.  I'm already blind in one eye.  I have one, count it, one good eye.  
And with it, I'm thankful He's let me see the Splendor.  His grace. His love. Jesus is beautiful to me.  I'll point to Him in spite of me all the days of my life.  

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