Thy way...not my way.

“And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine.”  Mark 11:15-19 

Jesus had attempted to remove the money changers and livestock from the temple and now the Chief priests were out to get Him because He didn’t do things ‘their’ way.  Tale a good look at this young Haitian child, what would you do to help them?  This smiling, skinny, barefoot child just finished bathing in the canal near Gonaives. 

I know of several North American mission teams that would bring this child $300 worth of clothes, peanut butter and crackers, chewing gum, a soccer ball, a radio or small television, several boxes of mac and cheese, bags of rice and beans, soap, shampoo and a tooth brush and tooth paste.  I have seen this happen and I have often wondered to myself what would Jesus do with the people who always need to bring gifts that are not necessarily culturally correct or needed. 

This child and parents and brothers and sisters live in a two-room house with one dresser that contains all of their clothes.  I have never seen a closet in a Haitian house except for the house of a Lutheran pastor.  This child’s house does not have electricity, no need for a radio or TV and if they are battery powered the family will not be able to purchase new batteries.  Taking North American food to Haiti is such a waste.  If a Haitian came to your school and brought a goat, a bucket of plantains, onions, rice and beans for your children to eat what would be your response?  When we go to Haiti we should always remember that we are venturing to a different country and culture and our North American ways need to remain in North America. 

Trinity/HOPE wires funds to the Haitian school feeding program directors and they purchase rice, beans, oil, vegetables and tomato paste locally from neighborhood markets.  They like the Haitian food; the local merchants appreciate the business and the local economy appreciates working with Christians.  I close today with the words to the hymn ‘Thy way, not mine, 0 Lord’ that was written by Horatius Bonar, in 1857. 

“Thy way, not mine, 0 Lord, however dark it be.  Lead me by Thine own hand; choose Thou the path for me.  I dare not choose my lot; I would not if I might.  Choose Thou for me, my God; so shall I walk aright.  Choose Thou for me my friends, my sickness or my health; choose Thou my cares for me, my poverty or wealth.  Not mine, not mine, the choice, in things or great or small; be Thou my Guide, my Strength, my Wisdom, and my All.” 

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