I like to think of life in terms of a story. We, you and I, are the characters and God is the author. When I imagine God as the author, I like to picture him outside on his front porch sipping on a hot cup of coffee staring out into an open field contemplating how his story, the only true story, will unfold. I imagine him deep in thought, contemplating how he is going to use his most marvelous creation, you and I, to tell the his story. I imagine the author picturing you and I doing beautiful things for His Kingdom with a great big smile on his face. I believe God wants nothing more than for his children to tell his beautiful restoration story simply by trusting in the script he hands each one of us.
Last week God handed me and a small team of workers a beautiful script leading us to Haiti on a mission with Project 117. The characters in this story with me were Lynn Hale, Paul Jordan, Britanny Reef, and Jamie Stout. Their occupations are a teacher, a route sales driver, a graduate student, and a recent high school grad! More important than job titles, they are all followers of Christ excited about the mission he created them to pursue. But anyways, back to the story…
We set out on our journey to complete the road to our property for the school and start building relationships with those the school will impact by doing various art projects. God surprised us in how he carried out both of these missions. Our story was full of laughter, sweat, tears, blisters, prayer, paint, smiles, and the kind of joy that fills you up from head to toe and makes you feel like you’re just one tiny step away from heaven. Last week, I fell in love all over again with the story God is asking me to tell with my tiny life. Last week, God did a restoration work, not only in the work we are doing to our land but in us as individuals on a journey with Him. So… enough of the vague feely stuff.
This is what we actually did…
We finished the road leading back to our land by hiring 11 local men to work with us.
We shoveled, pick-axed, carried rocks (5 truck loads worth), and sweat so hard it looked like we just went for a swim (I did at least…I have a sweating problem).
We colored, painted, and made a mess.
We painted shirts with 44 local elementary aged students.
We made hair-bows with 7 sweet teenage girls (well… I didn’t make those but Brit and Jamie did!).
We went to two beautiful church services.
We visited the houses of some new friends from our work crew.
We learned each others stories and the stories of some of our new Haitian friends.
We shared highlights everyday and made fun of each other.
We prayed circles around and through our land asking God to surprise us in how he uses our school to influence this area in Haiti.
We thanked God for using US to build a school and thanked Him for providing everything we need to do it.
We got poured on and slipped around in the mud.
We marveled at the beautiful landscape… at God’s beautiful creation called earth.
We enjoyed the moment and embraced whatever surprise came our way…Haiti is always full of surprises.
For me, Haiti is a very special place. It is a place where there is opportunity after opportunity to do really cool things for God’s kingdom. But that’s not really why it is so special to me. This is why… Haiti is where God revealed my tiny role in HIS big story to me for the first time. It is where I first discovered that the most profound thing I will ever say does not involve words, but ACTION. It is the only place I feel completely comfortable being my awkward, random, slightly crazy self.
Every time I go to Haiti, I experience God in profound ways through interacting with our brothers and sisters from this little island. Every time I leave this island, the drum beats a little louder inviting me back there to live again. I am so thankful that God is inviting me into this story. I am so thankful for the truth of Romans 8:37, “no, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” I am so thankful that God is not asking me to conquer the task of building a school. I cannot build a school in Haiti. I am inadequate and ill-equipped for such a task as this. But here’s the thing, GOD IS ABLE. And God uses people like me to do things for Him that are beyond anything we ever imagined for ourselves. All you and I have to do is say ‘yes’ and take a risk. I am so thankful that God the author is simply watching me, asking me to trust him with whatever the next step is. I am so thankful for the school God is building. I cannot wait to see how God uses you and me to make this dream a reality!