Eric Recker, from Recker Dental in Pella, IA, shares about being called to be a speaker for a Leadership Conference in Haiti, and how God has used him in his weaknesses to serve the Haitian people.
This is why we came to Haiti. This was the plan. This was the agenda. But leadership? I am a dentist, and a dentist is supposed to do dentistry on mission trips, right? Isn’t that what I am supposed to do? I approached Tim about going to Haiti in October. I told him I was interested in doing dentistry, but God (as usual) had a bigger purpose. With the new campus in Sylvain, Tim told me that they are no where near ready for dentistry or a dental clinic, but maybe he had an idea. Build relationships first through teaching in a leadership conference and we can check out the campus and see if there is a place for a dental clinic.
After prayer and contemplation, I felt God was calling me into this. But I am supposed to do dentistry when I go to a foreign country, right? I was not sure this was in my wheelhouse, not in my comfort zone, but that is where God wants us, right? If we are always working out of our strengths and not out of our weaknesses, where can He shine? Where can he come through? He has a bigger plan for sure and it is evident all the time.100 Haitians from 10 communities gathered together!
After a lot of preparation and power point and notes and double checking, I felt God saying that I just needed to trust Him for what to say. That is tough for me. I want to have my ducks in a row. I want a plan. I want a schedule. I want to stay on schedule. Not always possible in Haiti. 100 community leaders, 10 each from 10 different surrounding communities came to Sylvain today for day one of the conference. The energy level in the room was positive and high. One thing was apparent very quickly. Haitians can worship. Uninhibited praise. Hands raised, dancing, movement, these leaders rocked it out to the glory of our Savior.
I was blessed to speak on the Father’s heart and his great unconditional, extravagant, aggressive, uninhibited love for us. It was beautiful to look into the crowd and see faces that were receptive to how much God loves them, with loud shouting of “I am a son of God, I am a daughter of God, I am a child of God.” Groups were made and small group discussion was vibrant and after praying for the presence of the Holy Spirit, He showed up in a big way. Time was spent with quiet soaking music playing while we listened for the voice of the Lord. Discussion included taking thoughts captive and how they don’t need to control you. The image of a prison to contain thoughts so they can’t harm us was received well.
And at the end, there was a sense that God wanted to do a big work. After discussing distractions to our walk with God, all of the participants, Haitian staff, myself, and other conference speakers wrote down things that distracted them and kept them from their walk with God and they folded them in half. Everyone held up that half-sheet of paper and crumpled it up. We then walked to the burn pile and threw them on the pile. The Haitians literally cast the crumpled up distractions into the fire, Kalo started the fire and the distractions were gone. Time will tell if they stay gone, but with God’s help we are hopeful. A prayer for deliverance was made and then worship. Oh the worship. Heidi and Woody belted out “No longer Slaves to Fear” and taught it to the attendees. What a moment. I can only think of the smile on God’s face.
Today was a good day. A good day to work out of weaknesses. I didn’t follow my power point. I didn’t completely follow my outline. God had a bigger plan and he showed up. He showed up big time. What a day. Praise God for lives that were touched. And none more than mine.