“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9
While living in Haiti my quiet hours either in the early morning or at night if it was just too hot to sleep were spent searching for Bible verses to insert into Powerpoint programs. The Apostle Paul provided me with a plethora of verses from which to choose from. These verses in the 4th chapter of Philippians rank very high on the closing passages that I use. Pastor Darrell Stuehrenberg will remind me when he reads this that these were his life verses; Pastor Darrell is richly blessed. When we consider our mission, His mission for us, and how we can be used to do His work to the assist the believers in Haiti to reach the un-believers in Haiti, these passages should be considered before anything is planned. Too often well-meaning North Americans have gone off to foreign lands with mission ideas that have enslaved believers in the mission fields. These types of ‘assistance’ do not go unseen by the un-believers; schools without a roof, broken trucks sitting idle for years, empty medical clinics and empty concrete block churches. Where is their God, why doesn’t their God come back and fix these problems?
The attached photo was taken in Ouanaminthe, Haiti. This school does not need to be fixed. The clothes that this young girl is wearing are just fine. The food in the bowl is her daily meal and it is a wonderful blessing. The smile on her face is genuine. She has a Savior who gave His life for her and prepared a place for her in Heaven. She has Jesus! The hymn “Beautiful Savior” from the Lutheran Hymnal is such a wonderful reminder of what it is that we truly need and also what we have. No author was ever given for this hymn that appeared in 1677, must have been a Lutheran who didn’t want this hymn to be about him, but rather about the Savior.
“Beautiful Savior, King of Creation, Son of God and Son of Man! Truly I'd love Thee, truly I'd serve Thee, light of my soul, my Joy, my Crown. Fair are the meadows, fair are the woodlands, robed in flowers of blooming spring; Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer; He makes our sorrowing spirit sing. Fair is the sunshine, fair is the moonlight, bright the sparkling stars on high; Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer, than all the angels in the sky. Beautiful Savior, Lord of the nations, Son of God and Son of Man! Glory and honor, praise, adoration, now and forevermore be Thine!”
Dear Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.
May God be with you…Jay