Friday, May 10, 2013
He Keeps Me Curious
I thought this might help to just post a public response to these questions, because they are common curiosities to our work in Haiti:
"What would I do if I came down?" and "Does your church support you?"
Do you know what I love about following the Lord? It's that He keeps me curious. I'm left excited like a child, thinking, "WOW God! What are you gonna do NEXT?!" I can't wait to see!"
It's different every day. When I wake up my prayer usually begins or ends with, "Lord, where are You working today and how can I help?"
Right now I'm helping out 2, sometimes 3 different ministries, and they all work hand in hand with our ministry, in some fashion or another, in giving Bibles and discipleship.
Sometimes I'm running people to a doctor, sometimes I'm just out farming with my neighbors. For the last month I've setup meetings with pastors I've worked with. About 24 of them have made applications to be inspected, and once approved they can receive free Bible study materials from a mission I work closely with. My wife is working daily with an old man who is dying from Parkinsons, whose son is not following the Lord. She's also teaching a Haitian girl alongside our own kids, because she was kicked out of the school system here. I'm usually giving a message every Sunday, or working with pastors. We sometimes go to schools and are invited to give the Gospel. Some days I'm just out on the moto trying to find a pastor or a new church. Some days it's just too muddy to make it.
This week I may have to give a suppository to a man who can't do it himself...
All that to say it's certainly not in what we do, but in how we love and serve those He's placed in front of us.
Sometimes it gets difficult here, because of the persecution, also because you sometimes run up against an attitude that can be extremely foolish and selfish, sometimes downright rude and aggressive. But Christ didn't call us to just love the loveable, and when we become offended or upset it's usually an entitlement/heart issue of our own to work out.
If you were to come down here, to be frank, it would be more about what God would be showing you, a work He'd be accomplishing in your own heart, than anything else. There are those that go and those that send. A week long trip isn't about the impact the Christian leaves on the culture as much as it is about the print God leaves on the Christian, using the culture he's visited.
Our home church in SD does pray for us and occasionally supports us. They asked me to attend a 1.5 year Missionary training course, but I declined it. They may or may not have placed us where we wanted to go in Haiti. There were no hard feelings. We just knew where we were called and we didn't want to wait. In my own opinion, most Christians are already bloated enough with the Word, and they just need to give feet to what they already know.
Our church still prays for us and sends us gifts. They still encourage us and we love them very much. They've told me recently they'd also give support for me to go through Seminary. That was a tremendous offer to us. I'm just not sure where God is leading with that yet. Right now I'm giving a message here every Sunday. It's not something I've sought out, it's just where I'm being used, and the direction I feel from Him. I tell people over and over that I'm not a pastor, but they still call me Pastor Dan. A missionary friend here told me that from now on he's just going to call me Pastor Dan, because it's the calling he sees on me. Another says he sees my heart, and it's the heart of a pastor. It's always extremely humbling and undeserved when I hear that. I know where the Bible stands on credentials and the wisdom of man's knowledge, If my Lord wants me giving a message, then I'm glad and privileged to give it, whether I have the stamp of man or not. While Seminary is a wonderful tool and it would be a blessing, I'm not sure it's where I'm supposed to be. I'm a laborer in the field, and I feel most useful with dirt under my nails, out among the sheep. The Lord knows I've never been accustomed to a class room learning environment. He knows me better than I know myself.
The Gospel message in Haiti is simple. If that message is complicated, anywhere in the world, then we've missed the whole point and we're after the wrong Gospel. We are chosen by God, but only He knows who will and who won't follow him, and it doesn't matter, it's not in my job description to decide who that might be. He told me to GO, make disciples of ALL nations, to baptize and teach them to obey Him. My job is to love them. That's only accomplished through His promise to be with me, because at some point or another, either they or myself will not be found to be very loveable. That's why the rest is His business. Thank God it doesn't depend on me. What a failure this faith would be!
The drawing of the Holy Spirit, the unfolding of His plan, and the rest of the Book will be accomplished exactly as God has already seen fit.
I don't have everything figured out. He does. I don't own the cattle on a thousand hills. He does. I am the pot. He is the Potter. I am the laborer in the field. The field is His. My only response then must be, out of obedience and availability, "Lord, where are you working today, and how can I help?", and then, with whatever that looks like, to trust and be content.