The team with Steve and Rebecca Kraal is made up of young adults who regularly attend a Bible study together and “do life” together. Over the last week, this group was challenged to “embrace the uncomfortable” as they stepped into different situations. As Matt shares below, the result was a reminder that God is big enough to redeem our messes and that His plan is perfect.

Click here to check out the team’s previous blog.


Good morning, friends! Today I get to fill you in on our Sunday happenings. Sunday was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, as we got to witness both the incredible beauty of God’s love and goodness through the community of the Church and the deep brokenness of a fallen world.

Sunday morning we woke up early to the sounds of downpours on the tin roof as cool, cloudy weather rolled into Pignon. I know we won’t get too much sympathy when I say that it was about 65 degrees, but after having a few days to acclimate to the 90’s, it was quite a shock.

By the time we were off to Church the rain had stopped, but the road leaving the Many Hands’ campus was coated in a thick layer of mud which many locals were walking through in their Sunday best.

The Church service was a beautiful picture of the body of Christ in worship. We were fed from a couple of sermons; the first covering the Creation story, reminding us that God has a plan and His provision and timing are perfect, and the second covering I Samuel 15, reminding us that we are to seek and follow God’s will and wisdom alone.

Between these sermons, we witnessed the dedication of a baby, with her parents making a commitment before God and the Church to do their best to raise their daughter to know the love of God and throughout the service there was singing. So much joyous, enthusiastic singing, and our group was able to step outside our comfort zones and share a ministry of music with the church as we sang “Holy, Holy, Holy”.

After Church (and lunch) we went out to meet some families in Pignon and the surrounding areas to talk with them, pray with them, and distribute supplies. Each of these humble homes were marked with incredible losses: loss of strength, loss of health, loss of employment and income, and even the loss of a wife and mother.

Yet, despite their loss, each of these homes were also marked with love, with hospitality, with beauty, and the two that seem most absurd to my simple mind, marked with hope and joy. Given the loss that each of these families were dealt, my simple mind can somewhat understand the necessity to persevere, but it is only through the Lord that I can even fathom doing so with any measure of hope or joy.

After a cold, damp ride back to the campus, we warmed up bonding over card games and American Spaghetti (which was nearly as good as the Haitian Spaghetti we previously had) before we debriefed for the night.

In contrast to the early morning downpour, I went to bed to the sound of chanting and drums beating for a Voodoo ceremony, reminding me that the work that God is doing is not completed. There are many, in Haiti, Michigan, Iowa, and around the world who need the one, true giver of Hope and Joy.

As I have reflected on Sunday, I can see how messy this life is. So often the path ahead of us looks like that road we rode down first thing, hilly and coated in mud, but through it all God has a perfect plan and the worst thing we could do is question His wisdom or proceed on our own “wisdom”.

It is encouraging to see the ongoing work that God is doing in Haiti and challenging to remember that God is doing this work in every corner of the Earth, including my own back yard. I need to remember that our God is big enough to redeem my mess. The same clouds that bring the downpours and mud also make for the breathtaking sunset among the mountains.

God Bless,

– Matt


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