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Feeling inadequate for your dream

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…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
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.

Comments (15)

  • I’m just wondering what kind of help a single church needs over the course of this next year? How much communication and finaces are needed by some of these churches to get moving and have hope revived? I guess I’m wondering if small small churches in Idaho with limited resources can really help a church lift themselves off of the ground. Thanks-

  • They surprised you by showing up, God will answer their hunger and surprise you too in ways beyond your prayers. He’ll show up.

    The fire in your hearts will find its way into others. God will see to it.

  • Hey Seth,
    I was following you and the team on your trip, praying with you as you moved in and through Divine appointments. Thanks for sharing with us, keeping us in the loop. We’ve partnered with a church in PaP. One of our PSU students is from Haiti, and her dad is the pastor. My pastor wrote about it today. http://www.dannold.com/?p=1667

    We’d love to send a team down to help in any way possible. Will AIM be coordinating anything for teams who want to go?

    BTW, I’ve got a friend (she’s on staff right now) who is probably headed to the World Race…how cool is that?

    Let God place his dreams in the fertile soil of our souls…

  • why not use churches from other countries as well as the us.they may be further away distance wise but distance makes no difference with prayer.

  • Very interesting Seth, as I used those words exactly with my kids last night at dinner. It was a birthday dinner for me. I started the conversation by asking who remembers the bible study Experiencing God?? Well I feel I am at a crossroads a”crisis” of faith. I feel God is moving in a direction as it pertains to my health, which requires from action based on faith. If I am really living in a “kingdom” reality, a reality not based on the physical or feelings, the soul man, but based on what is the truth, what the word of God says, what would my life look like?? Would I make the same decisions?? Do I trust God for His word. Has He been faithful to His word?? As I posed this question to my children, their spouses and a couple visiting from PA, the friends began to give a testimony of how God healed, miraculously his dad. His dad had meningitis of the brain and in order to function he had to take medication. Someone prayed for him and he felt like he was supposed to go off his medication. He wrote a letter to his family in case he did not live, but committed to God to go off his medication for forty days as an act of faith. He did, and lived and is still healed today. Well very convicting to me as I am seeking the Lord on the matter.
    My point in all this is to say, what if God really meant it when He said “By His stripes we are healed”?? What if we really lived according to what is in the Bible?? What if our reality was not of this world, by what we feel or see, but a kingdom reality. What if?? What if the church in the west rose up to meet the needs of our brothers and sisters in Haiti?? What if the church in the west actually took care of the widows and the orphans?? What if we lived by faith, faith in a God who is alive and well and looking throughout the earth, seeking whom He can strongly support. What if???
    So Seth, I pray that the churches would rise up, communities of disciples of Jesus, would live according to the word of God, actually sacrificing for one another. I pray the we as a group would step out in faith as God leads, because He is faithful.
    I pray for that every need would be met by the hand of our God who is our provider.

    Thank you Jesus that you are faithful!!

    Thanks Seth for all you and your team do.

  • Seth as I read your blog im thinking how possible this is , this dream that God laid on your heart . Is not true that speaks to us in such a fashion and if Hes given us the dream will He not give us the resources as well. Its like you say we have a way of letting these dreams fall to our thinking of the impossible.. But we all know Jesus fed the 5000 we know that scriptures says ” We can do All things through Christ that strengthens us” And for me I want to encourage you and give you thought for a possible way to see this dream unfold and be uut into action. You talked about finding enough churches here to help meet the needs of these people, well the people are the church correct so how about communitys of people to serve and offer on caring for individual Pastors and their churches. I myself am thinking ok.. the group of people here that my husband I are involved are strong christian men and women could not we be a church support system to a pastor and church there and work at creating as many of their needs as God makes possible. I think of the community that is grown here how many here might think the same way that they have group in their city or country that could say the same thing that could form a “church of believers” that might be willing to take the challenge on in whatever way they are possible. Personaly seth whatever direction this dream takes you , both my husband and I would love to stand with you in whatever way possible with you in this.
    Press in seth..

  • Hey Seth,

    Once again, very timely blog. I was thinking about your question on how to find churches. First thing that came to mind was those “save the kids” organizations, where individuals or families would receive information about kids, choose to sponsor one, and receive updates on thier conditions on a regular basis. What if you did that? What if AiM sent out brochures about each church, or set up a website (save paper!) with the info for each church? Include background info and some stories about the pastor and members of his congregation. List what they need. Ask churches, people, families, or groups of people (like a tribe of friends) if they would like to sponsor a church. Prayer, food, love packages, etc, could be sent. AiM could interview and pray over each sponsor to divinely determine who would sponsor what church. I think this dream is a great way to connect the global body of Christ. I also agree with Wendy Thomas. Unless it’s God says “No”, since you mentioned America specifically, why not also include international churches in this?

    I think this kind of connection with our brothers and sisters in Christ is the kind of pick up we need in America. It is sad that something this tragic is out of the news already. I am guilty of this too. I should spend time each day praying for Haiti, and maybe even doing what I can to help them out.

  • Thanks Seth for a much needed Word from the Lord that I needed personally!

    Still praying that all the US churches that have and continue to mobilize to Haiti will work together in unity. Your God-given dream could work if we as the body of Christ not seek our own agenda in the situation.

  • Welcome home Seth. I prayed for you regularly. And the model of “churches helping churches” is exactly what the North American church needs to break out of a self absorbed funk driven by a consumer driven and “us first!” ethic. We NEED the poor and broken hearted as the canvas on which to paint the Gospel.

    When the dust settles I have some ideas on leveraged places for church engagement. Church On The Rock International (COTRI) could be one of those associations.

    Thanks for the news from the front lines.


  • I’m crying thinking of what it must have been like to pull up and see pastors representing 1000 churches, looking for help. How amazing and overwhelming that must have been. What an increddible dream God gave to you. I pray we all can step up in support of what is needed to help fullfill it through any means necessary.

    One thing I love and hate about dreams from God is that they all seem so impossible. I think that when God truly plants dreams, they often go against what human nature would deem possible. We individually are inadequate. But together and with God, truly nothing is impossible.

    “Such CONFIDENCE we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our ADEQUACY IS FROM GOD who made us adequate as SERVANTS of a NEW covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” 2 Corinthians 3:4-6

  • seth, i’ve missed your thoughts lately & only today rejoined the conversation…finding so much to consider prayerfully. Thank you also to Joy for you rich & well-timed contemplation.

    I can offer prayer & a broken heart.



  • We are blessed with the gift of inadequacy- the revalation that we need God in all ways and at all times; we will never be all He wants us to be without Him.

  • God is honored when we dream so big in Him that unless He accomplishes it, unless He acts it cannot succeed.

    He placed this on your heart. He will do it! I am praying for the AIM teams.

    Thanking God for you Seth.

  • Like so many American Christians I struggle with the fear of throwing money at a problem without engaging those who are affected. Yet in the aftermath of Katrina- the church I served in MS was so blessed by money that poured in from so many sources, especially in those first weeks. We had good insurance, we had former Pastors at affluent churches, and we were “partnered” with churches from all over the country through our denomination. I can’t imagine recovery without the help we had.

    All that said, I believe in this dream of partnering US Churches with Haitian Churches. During Katrina, we were equally blessed with the random Checks in the mail as well as with wave after wave of Relief Teams. I long to return to Ukraine; but I also want to be a part of this effort too.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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