A Glimpse of Home

It was an entire month away from the normalcy of life. I didn’t have to go to work, school was finished, no social media. But, I also slept on a very thin mattress on the floor, showered 5 times the whole trip, and had limited sources to food, water, and electricity. I stayed at two different orphanages, in two cities in Haiti, Criox-des-Bouquets and Delmas. There were multiple nights that we received emails from the U.S. embassy telling us that there was rioting and demonstrations just down the road from where we were, due to the recent presidential election there. There were nights that I was laying on the ground, sweating from the heat radiating in the room, and hearing gun shots in the distance. You would think that my initial reaction would be to freak out or start breaking down crying in fear for my own life. But I wasn’t. For I knew that my Jesus was holding me, and was protecting me. There were some days that were harder than others, and my faith did waver. Because mission work isn’t always easy. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes, it hurts. It even breaks your heart, but that’s okay. The journey changes you, it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your conscience, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you.You get a craving to return. You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere.

I wasn’t ever in fear about what would happen to me, but rather, in awe of how Jesus was using me. That he chose me to play a minuscule part in all He has planned. When you get to that place, where you have no fear, where you are so in love with your Savior, your life becomes limitless. Jesus will lead you places that you never deemed possible. He will make you do crazy things, because you do crazy things when you’re in love. Things that you don’t understand, but will lead you to a life filled with Him. Find that fearless pursuit.

There is something so beautifully breathtaking about living out the gospel in a 3rd world country, and feeling the presence of The Lord upon you. Holding an orphan child in your arms, walking through a remote village in the mountains, singing songs with an entire orphanage, praying over hurting, broken people just begging God to save them. You get to a place where there are no words to describe the feeling, you are simply in awe of your beautiful Savior. The joy that overflows your heart in sharing the gospel with complete strangers, who don’t even speak the same language as us, yet love has no barriers or borders. Jesus breaks through language barriers and connects His people together, through an unbreakable bond where His love is evident. Watching a woman with her make-shift home being destroyed from the recent hurricane, throwing her hands in the air, tears streaming down her face, and saying, “Mesi Jezi!” (Thank you, Jesus). It is something that I cannot put into words. This is a raw faith. That is somebody that is in love with her Jesus. Being able to praise your Savior when you have nothing. When everything you had, is now gone. I pray that I can have that “raw faith and love” that this woman in Haiti had. To be able to throw out all of the things that we idolize, and praise our Jesus with a raw faith and a radical love.

God calls each one of us to do two things: Love God and love others. That’s it. I want to love so radically that people wonder why. Because, I don’t want my life to be explainable without the Holy Spirit. I want people to look at my life and know that I couldn’t be doing this by my own power. I want to live in such a way that I love so radically, that I am desperate for Him to come through. The purpose of your time here on earth is not primarily about acquiring possessions, attaining status, achieving success, or experiencing happiness.. Those are secondary issues. Life is all about love—with God and with other people. You may succeed in many areas, but if you fail to learn how to love God and love others, you’d have missed the reason God created you. Because one day, we will look straight into the eyes of Jesus Christ. And suddenly the money, popularity, and earthly possessions, will be nothing but loss. On this day, the only thing worthy of attention will be the way we loved. On judgement day, will He know you as a close and loyal friend, or a distant stranger? The gospel is so urgent. To know Jesus is to know beauty, adventure, freedom, love, and joy. To know Him intimately is the most valuable gift one can attain on this earth.

Don’t wait any longer, start living now.

Much love, my friend.

D'Anna Johnson