Back in the U.S. now and I’m already doing a gut check.
Before we flew to Haiti, I felt God giving me a dream: Call the pastors together as representatives of their communities. Encourage them to unite and to begin leading their communities. Connect them to churches in America that would pray for them and their people and help them get back on their feet.
I’ve found that when you have crazy dreams like that, a lot of them die before they get off the ground. The odd dream may begin to take off, but even then it will hit a point early on where you realize just how improbable the dream is. And at that point the pull to give up on it becomes so strong that most dreams die a stillborn death.
Here’s how that dynamic played out in Haiti: The first thing we saw when we arrived in Port-au-Prince was evidence that maybe the dream wasn’t so crazy after all. When we pulled our van into a church, there were 40 pastors waiting for us. We quickly saw that they were desperate. Our meeting started and I asked them to share some of their stories.
One had lost his wife. Another had been saved by an angel. After the particularly heart-rending stories, the pastors prayed for each other. Before leaving, we gave them some of the survival packs that some of you made. And I thought, “You know, this thing could really work. We could pair each of these guys up with a church from our network and they could really begin to get some hope!”
As the days went by, the dream seemed to gain more momentum. A spiritual awakening is underway in Haiti and even the secular NGOs seem to recognize that the pastors are the key in getting communities back on their feet.
By our last day, we were exhausted, but had one more meeting. It was on the other side of town and the traffic getting there was terrible. We had called a meeting of the top pastors in the country – we were going to share the dream with them. We thought that perhaps 50 would show up.
We took Isaiah 58 as our theme. It says that we are to repair broken walls and restore streets with dwellings. We felt like the church needs to lead the way in doing so.
When our group arrived, the response astonished us – pastors representing over 1000 churches had showed up. All of them with congregations in dire need, all of them hoping for help. Our director on the ground, Lanny Richardson, led the meeting. But what to tell them? “We’ll be back with truckloads full of food,” or, “tell us what you need and we’ll connect you to a church”?
The harsh reality is, we don’t have the supplies. We’re going completely on faith here.
Lanny did a great job, but we couldn’t help but raise their hopes. And unless God moves to meet their need, we’re going to fail. I guess that’s the definition of faith.
So I arrived back home tonight and I’m still reeling – I’m wondering how it’s going to turn out. It’s a great dream, but how in the world will we find the U.S. churches that will help make it come true? If you’ve got any thoughts, I’m wide open. Haiti is already moved off the front pages – people are moving on.
Maybe you’ve got a dream and you’re in a crisis of faith. My advice – hang on to it. Don’t let go. This is when we get to see God show up.