Friday, December 14, 2012
Letting Go of the Manna
I saw a report just the other day that Hurricane Sandy along with another unnamed storm, took out a great deal of the crops in Haiti. The report claimed that merely by studying the trends in historical data, the country will typically see 'food insecurity' and famine, usually around 6 months after such a catastrophe. Sandy came along in October and wiped out about 90% of the harvest here.
Jean Wilber and I were sitting on my porch after working together building some stairs.
I mentioned to him that I'd read the report.
There's already a food shortage. The cost of food is rising so quickly that many just can't afford to eat, and there's already been sparks of riots.
"There's some food on the streets and in the markets now, but in another 3 or 4 months it looks like it's going to be a bigger problem." I said to Jean Wilber. His face was solemn.
I could tell he was thinking.
"You know that means? I think it means if you've got ground, it's time to plant."
"Yes!" He said.
I went to bed thinking about the many people I know here who are already hurting. There's always faces. Then I began to think about the millions that I've never seen. It's astronomical, the need here.
But over the course of the last few days I've noticed something in our community. The neighbor on the other side of Wilber was digging up his yard. Another man was digging up ground just kitty corner from us. Wilber was digging up the rest of his garden, and also a large patch of ground behind that. It looks as if my whole village is getting ready to plant, and they aren't messing around. They are going to do the best they can, and make do with the hand they've been dealt. That's what they are doing.
What are we doing?
I'm not talking to the folks back home, hunkering down for Old Man Winter.
I'm talking to our local, fellow missionaries, myself included. You and I are different, and by God's sovereignty there's a reason for it. He made us all different parts of the same body. I'm an elbow, you're a brain. The point is, we're all supposed to be working together.
Most of you also have one thing I don't. You have the means. You have the funds. You have organizations, mission teams, and equipment. Haitians don't need another handout, but they do need a hand up. Give them the opportunity, and they will plant.
If you've got tractors, this is where I think we need to lend a hand. Let's plow some fields. If you've got extra hands on deck, put those young up-start missionaries in charge of leading the delegation to open up a community outreach. It's inevitable if you live here long enough, you will see a car, truck, or bus loaded with Americans on a mission trip, zooming down the middle of the road, with atleast 4 or 5 standing up or hanging onto side-rails as if they have commandeered a raiding party, leading the charge to 'fix Haiti'. (I have full authority to say this. I've wagged my tongue with the best of them, a lost puppy in the wind, hanging out the window, pushing my cheeks to my ears.) Go to the villages, ask them if there's any farmers who need help getting their fields ready. They've got zeal. Turn them loose. Just remember to ask. Don't just do. Load them up with pick-axes and shovels and all your good wheelbarrows, and if you never see them again, big deal. They need them more than you do. If you've got seeds, help to get them into the ground. There will be fruit.
If we've been blessed by God in Heaven to have the provision, now is the time to open up the gates and share what we've been given. I'm fairly certain we're not going to out-bless God. One thing I know, before anyone starts getting hot-headed, is that we can't hold onto anything here on Earth. You know it too. You hold on to all that manna and you're just going to end up with a pile of something that really just stinks.
Does this not fit into your vision? I have to ask you Who's vision do we share? Is it God's, or is it ours?
Let's let go of our American control-issues, that we somehow have the world understood and these poor saps just need us to set them straight. Maybe all along they've just been setting us straight? Can you imagine? Let's not think of ourselves more highly than we ought.
Just like anywhere, except more enunciated in Haiti, there are the Have's, and the Have-Not's, and the Have's need to start making friends and shaking hands with their fellow Haitian neighbors, who incomparably Have-Not.
They won't care what you know, until they know that you care. One way to show them, is to give up whatever you're holding onto in the Name of the Lord.