Monday, April 25, 2011


I am going to be honest here. For the past several weeks, preparing for a long term stay outside of the US in a country such as Haiti has been a very real challenge. For many weeks, the thought of moving to Haiti gave me a suffocating and lonely feeling. Sacrificing my comfort, friends, family members, and any form of income wasn't pleasing to my flesh and even my heart. Why would I willingly give up the wonderful job I have now? How could I give up being around for the first year of my new niece's life? (Side note: my sister and very best friend is pregnant with her first child, Eden Grace). Why would I lose precious time left with my grandparents? How in the world can I give up valuable things such as air conditioning, a plethora of food options, movie nights on the couch, warm baths, shopping trips and even cold milk?
These questions along with many many others are the very same questions I had asked myself before accepting the offer to teach at OLTCH orphanage. The answer to each of these concerns, however, was simple then.  All it took was me reading and digesting these particular scriptures...
-Luke 14:26-27 "If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be my disciple." and 33-35: "So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions. Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned? It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
-Luke 9:57-62 "As they were going along the road, someone said to Him, "I will follow You wherever You go." 
And Jesus said to him, "The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head." And He said to another, "Follow Me.
But he said, "Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father." 
But He said to him, "Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God."
Another also said, "I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home." 
But Jesus said to him, "No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."
-James 1:22-27 "Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.
But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does. If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is worthless. Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world."
-Matthew 25:31-46 "But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 
and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. 

Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 
For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.'

Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 
And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 
When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?'

The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'
Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 
for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 
I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.'

Then they themselves also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?'
Then He will answer them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.'
These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

-Isaiah 42-43 Understanding that these two chapters partly show how:
      1.) God presents His servant as the only hope of the nations
      2.) The servant is a covenant for the people, bringing the knowledge of God to all, even the remotest    
           peoples of the earth
      3.) God has shown His hand in populating life around the world 
      4.) The purpose of God's grace for His people
      5.) God calls all the nations to rejoice in His triumphant vindication
      6.) God has passion for His people and for His own glory
      7.) God reassures His people that, for His own glory, He will ensure their wonderful restoration

These passages and verses screamed at me in the midst of making my decision about moving to Haiti. For me and my life, there was no other option. The American dream was not for me. Why would I waste my life pursuing success and riches only for that to count as nothing at the end of my life? What better way to live out true religion than to go to the least of these? What better way to serve the least of these than to die to myself and move to an orphanage in one of the poorest countries in the world and meet a need that I am equipped to meet? 
Don't be confused. There are many different ways to serve the least of these for the sake of the Gospel. For this point in my life, though, teaching at OLTCH was and is it. 
Since my acceptance to teach in Haiti next year, however, Satan has been on me like mud on a pig. Stress, worrying, fear, nervousness, selfishness, anxiety, uncertainty, insecurity, and doubt have haunted me. Could I really go through with this? Or should I back out now and make everything easier? 
It wasn't until Easter Sunday, which was yesterday in reference to this blog post, that I recognized how serious these lies had enchained me. Not only did I not realize Satan's stronghold on me, but I was not in any way being proactive in resisting the devil and his lies. Instead, I found myself slowly drowning in his trap. My lack of effort in studying the word, choosing to not cling to all that God is and has planned for his Kingdom, and my lustful distraction of befriending the world made me an easy target for Satan. Yesterday, when remembering the reason for Jesus' coming and the ultimate sacrifice He made for the glory of His father and salvation of His people, I was overtaken with this realization. Why in the world had I been wasting so much time trying to talk myself out of obeying God? Well, here are three main reasons why:
        1.) Living in America makes settling for the easy road well... easy. It is easier for me to simply stay here and follow the path that so many of us are taking, which is the American dream whether we realize it or not.  We have one hand grasped around the things of this world and the other conveniently clinging to the cross. It would be more convenient for me to strive to keep my comforts and hold on to my possessions than it would be to actually obey the word of God. The day to day distractions of busy schedules, goals, purchasing the next cool accessory, bills, sleep deprivation, and even church attendance alone are enough to draw the average Christian American's attention away from the Great Commission. Not to mention the 90,000 other things pulling for our engrossment every second of every day.
        2.) Paul says it better than myself so I will go ahead and quote him from Romans 7:14-25 "For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin."
        3.) Anyone who does not actively pursue the Lord and arm him/herself for temptation is vulnerable to deception. This is where I found myself.

Thank God for waking me up from my dry sleep yesterday. Satan has no power over me. I am not his child and am not under his authority. My submission is to God and God alone. Therefore, my soul's desire is for Him and His people.
Today, my heart longs for Haiti. I cannot wait to be with Jasmine and the others at the orphanage. My prayer is that God would use every bit of me to serve them wholeheartedly. I want to teach the Haitian children with the Lord's compassion and strength. I desire to serve them with His patience and kindness. For the sake of the Gospel, help me to be a light in that dark country. 
Let His name be known.