Monday, March 07, 2011

Seeing old friends and talking about orphans

We had a great time yesterday. The whole family got up early and hit the road at 7 AM to visit the local assembly we attended in East Lansing, Michigan. It was nice to be back with the people we spent so much time with over the last few years and share a meal with many of them. I also had the opportunity to give a recap of my trip in January to Haiti and the work that is going on down there with the Haiti Orphan Project. I think that it went pretty well given it was my first time speaking about orphans and something happening in “real life” instead of expositing a Scriptural passage or speaking about a doctrinal topic. It is a small group so questions flowed pretty freely both after my talk and then at lunch.

I got one question that I think probably comes up a lot and is a valid one. One good friend asked if it made sense to go on these trips that cost around $1000. Wouldn’t it make more sense to just give the $1000 to the Haiti Orphan Project? That is an excellent question.

Here is how I look at it. These trips are life and outlook changing for the people who go on them. It radically alters how you view missions and mercy work forever. So in a way, yeah it makes more sense to send a donation instead of going yourself. That money would feed a whole bunch of orphans for a long time. On the other hand, going on these trips makes Haiti a part of who you are. Once you are actually there and see what is going on, it gets into your spirit. The people who come back are transformed and tend to talk to lots of other Christians about the need. Rather than one person giving a one time donation, you hopefully end up with a bunch of people catching a vision, looking outside of their comfortable lives and comfortable churches. Sending a one time donation is great and I encourage people to do so but I also strongly encourage folks to go, see and serve, even in a very small way. Reading about orphans in the Bible is one thing. Hearing someone talk about orphans in Haiti is another. Having real orphans hold your hands, sit on your lap and smile at you in an orphanage in a devastated nation? That is something that never leaves you and creates a drive in you to tell others. That is how a vision is spread, that is how the church is going to be shaken from our apathy and that is how God is creating a movement among His people to turn our focus toward the least of these.

If you are feeling led to go and serve and to see what God is doing in the midst of desperation, contact Les Prouty at the Haiti Orphan Project. I am hoping to get back down to Haiti later this year with some of my kids and I would love to meet some of you when I am down there!

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