Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Go out!

Manite, a Haitian friend greeted me and said, "I'm going to go out and preach the gospel!"  During the week there had been evangelism training by their local pastor, and prayer meetings in preparation, and now they were heading for nearby villages to preach the gospel. (Romans 10:14 How can they hear unless someone preaches to them?)

It was Friday morning and we were in Haiti.  The truck had been loaded with pots and pans, rice and beans, veggies and even beef and chicken. It was loaded with Haitian students who would be cleaning veggies and beans, tending fires, and setting rocks at just the right angles for the huge cast iron pots. We were cooking up a feast for a beach party in Con Crab, a nearby village. We played games with the children, we slivered green beans with half a razor blade, and a village was fed. "Together we preached the gospel."  (James 2:16 Suppose a brother or sister is in need of clothing or food, If one of you says, "Go in peace, keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?)

I walked through the village with one of our team.  We found an albino grandmother with a huge sore on her leg, and another elderly woman with a tumor on her back the size of a baseball.  They invited us into their humble homes, so glad we had come. We brought them food from the feast and prayed with them. It didn't matter that we knew so little Creole, Jesus was there. "Together we preached the Gospel." (Colossians 3:14 Above all else, clothe yourself with love, which binds us all together in perfect love.)

All week long we SAW the Gospel being lived out...sometimes we had the joy of being part of it. All week long we HEARD the Gospel being lived out in songs and prayers, in thanksgiving and petition, in laughter and cries.
All week long we FELT the Gospel being lived out in JOY and LOVE, in HOPE in the midst of weariness.  It has been a tough time for all of them.

I have to admit it is easier to see the Gospel...the Good News...being lived out in Haiti than it is here in the US; at least for me it is. I think about the quote attributed to Francis of Assisi, "At all times preach the Gospel, and when necessary use words."

The Gospel is certainly needed here as much as in Haiti.  I long to see it: justice, mercy, love, compassion, encouragement, joy, hope, kindness, faithfulness, humility, forgiveness...good news for the poor, the captives, and that's us as well.

Let's go out and be it!  That is our calling as Jesus followers, and the world certainly needs us to be all God calls us to be.