I just retuned with the NLC Missions team, 31 people giving a week of their summer to help the people in Haiti. We went to the Mission of Hope, about 40 minutes from Port A Prince. Mission of Hope is a great organization dedicated to touching the lives of every man, woman and child in Haiti with the Message of Jesus Christ. That is a lofty goal, but they are well on their way to doing just that. They currently feed 50,000 children a day, house 65 orphans, facilitate the Church of Hope, teach 2,500 kids in their Christian School and employ 15 North Americans and 130 Haitians to make it all possible.
This is a photo of the Church of Hope - about 1,500 Haitians and North Americans joining together to worship God in Creole and English combined!
We were very blessed to be able to be able to minister to people and to help them complete some very important projects that will make them more effective in their ministries and efforts.
However, I was struck with one important weight through the entire trip. I have been called to support the local church in America, so missions has never been the top of my priority list. I believe in it and respect those who have a calling to it as their primary ministry but I also believe it takes all of us working together, in our individual areas of calling in order to be truly successful in this day and time. And I know I have been called to the local church. I am a church junkie, I love working in the church and learning better ways of doing church. I truly do believe that the local church is the hope of the world. I believe the planting of more local churches is still the number one way to evangelize the world. With that said, I was looking through that lens the whole time I was in Haiti.
I saw the same poverty and the despair, but from a little different perspective then most. The whole time I was looking at them physically, God was showing me a picture of the States and the people who live here. While they are not as poor physically, the are just as poor spiritually. The despair the Haitians had on their face, I saw in the eyes of people right here at home - spiritually.
Please do not get me wrong, I am in no way trying to lesson the need there, nor would I ever want to take support from or diminish the calling of those working to meet their needs. In fact I solute them. My plea today is for more people here to see their cities and the towns in which they live as the mission field as well.
There are people on our streets, in our towns and cities, living in the same county and state as us who have everything they could ever ask for, and yet they are living in spiritual poverty. Let's keep sending missionaries and money to Haiti, and Africa, and South America, but when we get home lets lift up our eves and see, in the words of Jesus in Luke 10, "the field is white and ready for harvest. Don't make this missions trip a one week a summer event, but rather a way of life.
We need more missionaries today in every country of the world, in Haiti, Japan, London, and New York, Little Rock, Washington, Hot Springs, and Miami. It's time that we see those around us as Jesus sees them, a people in poverty, living beneath their means, not fulfilling the mission and vision God has for them. A people in need, suffering and desperate for the words of truth.
This summer, go on all the trips you can and when you come home, engage where you are. Get involved, don't take the summer off, but be the hope the world needs in the city where you live!!!
Just a thought...
Me and my new friend at the MOH 500 Project in Haiti