Sunday, April 10, 2011

"Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity." Col 4:5

The village awakes this morning to another brilliant, cloudless day and few will know that they were even here this last week. Yet in a real sense, that is as it would have been preferred. This last week the village of Dessalines witnessed a true transformation both physical and deep down inside where only those impacted truly understand the meaning of what has occurred in their lives. Having been briefed early in the trip as to what they might anticipate, the Lapeer Free Methodist team from Lapeer, Michigan went about their task with efficiency and purpose. Each had an assignment, each a corporate vision of what needed to occur and each went about their responsibilities with a conviction.

He had called them to such a time as this, to a place far from the “routine” where simply “getting there” is as much of a challenge as the task itself. More importantly, each had come with an anticipation of serving Him, of being a witness to the truth of Christ Himself and the message of hope, redemption and transformation and what it had done in each of their own personal circumstances. Each had come, “Pa kite okenn chans passé”, making the most of an opportunity.

Each were provided in a special way a glimpse of what God has created in the facility, staff and purpose of those serving in and in support of the Dessalines De Heureuse Hospital. The team was provided an opportunity to paint the nursing residence, a home to 14 individual nurses and their families, and in turn have a “canvas” of sorts on which God painted an experience of His own for each in His own way. He has created us all in His own image, regardless of skin tone and or culture, to serve Him.

With each day came a chance to work in and around a group of His children, foreign to those on the team and yet bound together with a common purpose. As the team assembled each morning to begin the day’s tasks, a group of local children and onlookers stood ready as well with an endless number of questions, curiosities and requests. Each of the “locals” had their own purpose for wanting to be a part of the overall experience. For some it was hope today of acquiring a few Haitian dollars sufficient to feed themselves for the day; for others it was anticipation of a new piece of clothing or perhaps these “blancs” had a football (soccer ball) they wished to donate to the local neighborhood, many sought work for the day and to the extent possible were given that chance.

Whatever the purpose it was captivating to watch as once again He brought the two groups together to work through the language restrictions. Singing common songs of praise and laughing at each other, knowing it was the common bond of seeking His will that formed the purpose for their being together on this day at this particular hour.

One would have to ask, having completed the task assigned in a superb style, what was the “true” purpose of His bringing you here at this time? Was it the adventure of a foreign country? Was it the chance to make a personal statement?

Perhaps, as the apostle Paul said to the believing Colossians, to “Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward the outsiders, making the most of the opportunity.”

When He provides opportunity, one must not hesitate but run to the chance to be a part of what He is doing for the advancement of His Kingdom. We are but servants in a larger picture, painted by the hand of God Himself, each with his own accountability.

Our gratefulness to the Lapeer team and your accomplishment, our lives are richer for the experience of having met you. Our Haitian family has been encouraged by your generosity and willingness to “paint” in that much larger picture beyond that which we can see.

”Pa kite okenn chans passé” Colossians 4:5c.