Day 3 in Haiti is wrapping up. We’re being serenaded by the Bamboula Party outside: a little reggai, a little calypso – I don’t know what you call it, but its Haitian. It is catchy, but I don’t think I’ll be adding it to my music library anytime soon.
The day started slowly – the entire team had a good night’s sleep, and a good morning’s sleep too. For some reason, we all slept in a bit, but that’s okay. Our mission partners here had a funeral to attend in the morning, so we were left at the beach house to organize the items we brought, and were asked to help clean out the garage. That was all finished pretty quickly, so we took advantage of the beach being quiet for a moment, and spent some time in the water. The waves were great, the water nice and warm – really it was a wonderful morning.
After lunch, we left for the Consolation Center. The women went on to visit the James 1:27 Community – a ministry that houses widows and pairs them with orphaned or abandoned infants – they held the babies and loved on them for a while. They weren’t allowed to take any luggage there – we didn’t want to tempt them with the idea of bringing a little one home.
While the women were there, the three men stayed at the Consolation Center to try to fix the school bus. They have a big yellow bus from Laurens-Marathon schools to transport the kids. Problem was, it wouldn’t go in reverse. Bruce checked the transmission under the bus, I was electrocuting myself on the start switch (which was hotwired). Meanwhile, Matt was tinkering with the electrical box on the side of the bus. He found an unplugged cord marked “Rev:Rel” and wondered if it should be connected to the other unplugged cord; he put them together and viola – the bus goes backwards now.
We then tried our hand at a little welding, repairing the door of the bus. The welding didn’t work though, as we didn’t have the right welding material – but it was a noble effort.
Our study for the day was on Peace – the peace of God which we know in Christ, a peace that comes in the power of His Spirit.
It’s funny: we long for peace in our busy, hectic, frenetic lives. We chase ourselves around and around, thinking that by doing a little more, earning just a couple more dollars, having just a little more stuff, we’ll finally find that peace that we’ve been longing for. But it never comes. We keep running just to stand still (thank you, Bono), we keep chasing the horizon, peace eludes us.
And then we come to Haiti. The motto here seems to be, “Hurry Up and Wait.” We’ve got goals and expectations for the trip, but as we go through the day, we realize, those goals are far less important than just loving the people, showing the kids that they are cared for and treasured. We have to remember that sitting with a widow and holding a baby is more important than building something or checking something off your to do list.
There is peace in holding a child who just needs to be loved, in playing soccer with kids who’ve never known an adult who cared for them. There is peace in the contentment and satisfaction in knowing that you are where God has placed you, and you can only do the work that He places before you – anything more or less would be a step out of His plan (thank you, Amy Grant).
We have peace with God, we have peace in God. We were at one time rebels from the throne of God, violators of His will, trespassers of His law. But now, through the mercy of Christ, God has reconciled the world to Himself. We have peace with God – our sins are forgiven. Our longing, our desires, our hopes and expectations – they are all met in Christ Jesus our Lord. He is our Prince of Peace; when He came into the world, the angels sang “Glory be to God in the Highest, and on earth, peace and good will toward men;” as He prepared for the cross, He gave us His peace, so that our hearts would never be troubled (John 15:27).
We shared tonight about what peace means, when we’ve experienced the peace of God in our hearts. We cried a little, laughed too, but spoke to one another’s hearts. We shared the peace of God, the peace that passes all understanding. It is this peace that allows us to serve here. A peace that tells us that we are not in control, but there is One who is in control. He knows our yesterdays, our todays, our tomorrows, and our tomorrow’s tomorrows: there is nothing He does not see, nothing that is not in His hands. Knowing this gives us peace. We are in His hands. Our cares, our worries, He knows them, and He will provide, and when we delight in Him, our hearts will be satisfied.
He is with us, His peace abides with us. The presence of the Lord is the calm in the storm, the confidence in the face of the accuser, the stronghold in times of trouble, the rock that is higher than the flood, the peace in the midst of the choas. This is the peace that allowed Job, that allows us to say when everything else was gone, I know that my redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth” (Job 19:25).