Just last week, my second son, Peter and I were privileged to visit and preach in what Christopher Columbus called “the Pearl of the Antilles,” the country of Haiti. We were were there with Missionary Harry G III Peart and his family. God has used them mightily over the past 11 years to plant two churches, two Christian schools and a school for the deaf. Each year, for the past 21 years, I, and or my family, have traveled outside the USA to reach people with the gospel. I was deeply impacted by this trip and just wanted to pass on a few lessons I learned from it.
Lessons I Learned From Haiti
1. Never, Never, Never, Never Complain…About Anything! – There is a wealth of abundance here and an amazing lack there. This affects basic access from everything like smooth roads, electrical power, clean water, good health clinics, timely service, to regular needs met we so often take for granted! The next time you feel a complaining spirit coming on, nip it in the bud!
2. Someone Has It Worse Than You And They May Live In Haiti. Be grateful! It is not enough to manifest the absence of a griping spirit. Its only antidote is abundant gratitude. One thing that will motivate me in the future, in this regard, is remembering the women in their 50’s riding donkeys, the teenage girls carrying 5 gallon buckets of water on their heads, the men plowing with a team of oxen and with late 18th century plows, and the children pumping water out of a kind of pump that went extinct in America 60 years ago and all just to scratch out an existence. Thank God for the blessings you enjoy.
3. Depth Sustains. The deepest seaports in the Caribbean are in Haiti. This makes it easy for necessary supplies to come in and out of this country and meet the needs of this poverty laden land. There are even plans in the works for big oil tankers to come into Haitian ports and off load their supply into shallow tankers that can deliver to other Carribean ports. As I was told this, I was reminded how important it is that I cultivate a deep walk with God in my own life. Without it there will be few resources to offer my spouse, my children and others God expects me to minister to.
4. Poor Living Can Be Changed, But Only When Poor Thinking Changes. While there, I thought of the many ways, from the corrupt government in charge to the common man on the street, poor living has affected. Yet this can only change when poor thinking changes. Then the Holy Spirit reminded me of patterns of spiritually poor thinking that have crept into my own life, and I was deeply challenged to make the necessary changes.
5. Contentment Not Circumstances Bring Joy. There were Christians I met in Haiti who, though they have very little, were filled with joy! Abundant joy! I was told of one Christian lady who, while dying in her mud hut, said, “God has been so good to me!” Truly joy comes through contentment with where God has placed you and what He has entrusted to you.
6. No Matter How Dark Or Dirty A Culture May Be, It Is No Match For the Power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Maybe it was the deaf school that was training people most Haitians view as equal with trash; maybe it was the testimony of two indigenous churches started in the past 11 years (which are now supporting missionaries); maybe it was the wife of the late witch doctor worshipping Jesus this past Sunday and her grown son who is now the pastor of one of those churches; maybe it was all of the above that emphasized to me this wonderful truth!
7. Whatever You Do, Don’t Abandon or Forget Your Missionaries. They are front line warriors in the spiritual battlefields across the globe. Often Stateside Believers come under Satanic attack or discouragement. Even more so, preachers in the USA are under an enemy barrage of distraction and assault. For a missionary it is this on steroids and then some! Send them a note. Write a message. Make a call. Send a care package. Take up a love offering for them…Just please don’t forget them!
8. Have I mentioned, Never, Never, Never, Never Complain…about anything?
9. Our Missionaries Need Prayer Cover Like Never Before! The devil hates Who they represent. He resents what they are doing. He abhors the Book they seek to proclaim. We may not be able to visit them personally or do more for them, but we can cover them and their families with fervent, earnest, effectual prayer power…and we should.
10. Situation Doesn’t Determine Outcome. Character and Choices Do. This was clearly illustrated to me by the commitment of the missionaries and their families to be in this 3rd world place. As well, the Haitian believers each morning at 4AM heard a bell ring, calling Christians to come pray at the Maranatha Baptist Church. The prayer meeting started not long afterward, and was followed by a choir practice. This happened Monday through Friday! The choices of the above mentioned to forsake all and follow Christ was obvious and rebuked my little faith. If I want an outcome of God’s blessings, there is a price to pay!
11. What is Seen Is Temporal. What Is Unseen Is Eternal, So Go For Souls! GO FOR SOULS! Oh! Go For Souls! There are 10.8 million people in Haiti most of whom are without Christ and headed to an eternal Hell! But what of the 7 Billion in this world?! What of the 300+ million in America?! What of the thousands in the country God is calling you to reach?! What of the hundreds or thousands in the town or city nearest you?! What of the few neighbors who live across the street?! Where will they be if they died tonight?! It is not God’s will for any of them to perish. He wants to use you to reach them for Christ and give them the gospel! Do it without delay!
12. One more thing. Never, never, never, never complain…about anything!