As most of you know, my 2 children have been on mission trips this month with Touch The World. AJ arrived back from Eleuthera, Bahamas safe and sound, and has promised to write a blogpost about his trip, but first he’s busy catching up with friends :) Lauren returned from Uganda last night. More on their trips later.
Last Saturday, the TTW Haiti team bunked over at our place. After arriving at JFK, they stayed with us until their closing rally on Sunday. What a joy! As they shared their stories, we laughed, cried and vicariously experienced their last 3 weeks.
So many things I want to share, but I'll settle for two:
1- Symphony of Prayer When we bowed our heads in prayer, I was greatly moved. Rather than hearing one person to pray aloud, each person simultaneously prayed aloud. This is how the Haitians pray, and the team adopted this manner of prayer. As they prayed, I thought - this is what God hears all the time on a much greater scale! The cacophony of voices brought to mind John's description of the prayers of the all the saints ascending to heaven like incense (Rev. 8:3-4). I heard all the prayers, but not a single word could I discern. Yet God has no problem hearing multitudes of voices across the entire earth and identifying each of His children in a personal way.
God, come close. Come quickly! Open your ears—it's my voice you're hearing!
Treat my prayer as sweet incense rising... Ps.141:1-2 MSG
2- What is permanent? One of the team's tasks in Haiti was to build the platform from which they presented VBS, dramas and puppet shows. However, the wood supplied for the task could not be cut. At the conclusion of VBS, they had to disassemble the platform and use the wood to make bunk beds, benches and tables for the Haitian children. As they shared this story with me, we discussed what was really permanent. The team shared the gospel from the sturdy wooden platform they built. The wood then was reconstructed into furniture for the Haitian people which would remain with them. But, eventually time, use, neglect, weather will take their toll on these items. What will really endure forever are the words that were shared, the everlasting truths of God, and the love that was poured into the hearts of these people who have lost so much, yet have gained eternity.
The grass withers and the flower drops off, But the Word of the Lord (divine instruction, the Gospel) endures forever. And this Word is the good news which was preached to you. 1 Pet. 24b-25 Amp
Thank you, Haiti team, for sharing with us your stories, your humor and your sweet spirit. And thank you, Lord, for using these young people in such mighty ways.