Jesus Came, So We Need To GO!
In December, I will be heading back to Haiti for another trip to love, serve, and support our kids there and the country. Why am I going back again? I’ve received this question in the past, and I want to explain why being there, physically, matters. I’ve heard the confusion from others- “you already send the money every month, and Styve is well cared for. Why should those of us who send gifts of money, clothes, and toys actually GO to the country we are supporting?”
Here’s why we go. To KNOW the people. To hold the child as they open their gift from you. To sing alongside them in church even though you don’t speak the language. To become uncomfortable taking bucket baths and sleeping on the roof. To fall in love with the people and know them by name. The same way that Jesus came to see us. To meet us. To know us by name and call us by name. He could have taken care of it all from Heaven. He could have provided salvation as easily as He wanted without ever having to send Jesus. Instead, He sent Jesus. Jesus came here. He already knew everyone’s name and knew what they needed. He could have just written a check and given it to the lame beggar, but instead He came and healed the man with his hands. His voice. My friends, sending money is wonderful. Your donations are meeting so many needs and your prayers are keeping the ministry alive. But, have you considered that maybe Jesus wants YOU to go, too? Not just your money?
In Haiti, you experience the touch of child who is desperate to be held, and you can provide that comfort for them. You feel the woman with open wounds leaning against you for support and you can give her the medicine she needs. You sit in a room with no electricity eating incredible food with strangers and you feel a part of the real deal. The hands on, feet on the ground, dirty, beautiful mission that God has called us to go on. This isn’t just Haiti. This is everywhere. The check that you send to the local homeless shelter, have you ever delivered the check by hand and then stuck around for a while? Listened to their story or brushed their hair for them? The automatic withdrawal that comes out of you bank account each month for the after-school center you support, have you ever spent the day there? Met the kids, played basketball, and hugged them before you left? I’ve said it before, but I do not believe in guilting people to do anything. What I do believe is speaking a hard truth, in hopes that it may stir something up in you. Maybe you’re reading this and thinking, “I can’t go to Haiti. It’s too much money, it doesn’t make sense, I don’t really even want to go.” Lean into that, my friends. See what is holding you back, and then check to make sure it really is a roadblock. It may just be an excuse to not dive deeper. When you meet the people of Haiti, they become real in a whole new way. Real humans. Real hurt. Real need. And they are human, just like you.
I am going to continue giving my sponsorship money to Styve for as long as he needs me. I will also keep visiting Styve in Haiti for as long as I can and as often as I can. Your hands, your feet, you body- it isn’t meant to be separate from the support and love you give. Ask God if He wants more of you, sweet friends. Ask Him if He wants you to GO. Then, ask someone to help you get there. Being on the ground in Haiti, it matters. These sweet people are far less excited about the toy you brought than they are that YOU are there. YOU came to see them. YOU are real and in there home and eating dinner with them. I want Styve to know that I care about more than just sending a check. I care about knowing him personally, about what he wants to do with his bright future, about how he likes to dance. These things form the person that Styve is and take him from being a photo on my fridge to the lifeblood of my heart. I wouldn’t be able to love Styve this hard if I hadn’t held his hand, kissed him goodnight, and swam in the ocean with him. Most importantly, I know what his voice sounds like, and he knows mine. Your sponsor child needs you to come see them, and you need you to go see them. Get on a trip. It really, really matters, my friends. Just like Jesus, let’s go.