The Haven CRC team is happy to be back among the familiar sights of Pignon, Haiti. Their love for this country is pushing them to look beyond the obvious differences in cultures. The team is focused on strengthening old friendships as they look for God-appointed opportunities to be light in the darkness.
Luke 10:27 reads, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Once again, our group has been reminded that our neighbors extend beyond the neighborhoods of white picket fences and subdivisions, to cactus lined roads filled with mud-houses, witch doctors, sick children, and inexplicable poverty. This week, God has called all of us to love our neighbors by seeing beyond their obvious physical situations into their spiritual wrestling. For example, while traveling to the home of a friend of Many Hands For Haiti on a food distribution, it was brought to light that the family may be walking a fine line between Christianity and Voodoo practice. In the midst of the obvious physical needs presented in the form of a garbage strewn yard, a crumbling thatched roof, and an injured child, God presented the reality of spiritual warfare that was occurring right in the front yard, right underneath the thatched roof, right within the soul of each child. We have decided to take the evening and following day to pray through how to best approach the spiritual battle that’s revealed itself in the heart of a dear friend of ours. We ask you for your prayers for guidance in how to reflect Christ, patience in waiting in His timing, and how to show love to our neighbor.
For many of our group, this is our second or third journey to Haiti. For this reason, we’re struggling to feel our hearts break for the obvious needs, but have been feeling God’s pull towards deepening the relationships that have already been formed through past trips, and being intentional towards new relationships that are forming this week. Undoubtedly, the language barrier has the ability to create a rift or distance in a relationship because of the seeming impossibility of communication. It’s difficult to feel equipped to be there for hurting and broken people when the words God’s given us to say are blocked by the knowledge that they’ll fall on uncomprehending ears. It’s heartbreaking to only be able to nod in response to a child that desperately wants to speak their thoughts. However, God has revealed that, often, actions speak louder than words. A hug, a shoulder to cry on, or simply holding a child convey the love of Christ through us better than words ever could. A hug, or a touch, or a hand to hold, is universal. Jesus spoke his loudest messages without saying anything at all. He washed feet, touched eyes, and hung on a cross, all for the sake of conveying His love. And so, we pray to love our neighbors through actions, and words when needed, to convey the love of Christ in a spiritually and physically broken world.