Leaving for Haiti in a few days
With only a few days left in the States, I am getting both excited and nervous about going to Haiti. Reasons for nervousness are obvious: I’m leaving my family behind, I’m leaving for a country I’ve never been to, and I don’t know exactly what I’ll be doing there. But, the reasons for being excited are more than I can list. Having just finished the Easter season, my thoughts are on not only the Resurrection, but the cause that Jesus left His followers with…”Go…”. And that’s exactly what I’m doing, I’m going to where people are hurting. Tony Campolo once said, “wherever people are hurting, that’s where Jesus is” and that’s where I want to be!
In the last month I’ve received not just support from my church, but criticism as well. Some folks don’t believe you should be there unless you have a specific skill set that is in need, or people going there are just in the way of professionals. While from a strictly secular point of view this makes sense, it fails to see the sacred element of going to bring food and water to those who have none. I read this morning that there are 1.3 million homeless in Port-Au-Prince, and with that many homeless, food and water are going to be huge necessities. I cannot look at this topic without hearing Christ’s words ringing in my head. Possibly some of the most powerful words I’ve ever heard…”For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me…as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me”(Matt. 25:35,40) What sticks out to me the most out of that scripture is that Jesus says, “you did it to me,” not “it’s almost like you did it for me.” He says that when we feed and give water to “the least of these”, we are giving it to Him. It shows that Jesus looked at taking care of the oppressed not as just something nice, but something divine. Can we call ourselves Christians (like Christ) without actively feeding and caring for the “least of these”? It’s like calling yourself an American without paying taxes.
The opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus in Haiti is a divine one, but the question I am asking myself is, what about when I come back? How do i continue to love and seek out the “least of these” in Arizona. I am hoping that in the next weeks, God will help me to see what areas I am not serving him yet, and where He needs me to be searching for Him at home.