I happen to believe in miracles. I have seen God DO the miraculous in lives, circumstances, bodies and spirits. I pray for miracles and I trust God when only a miracle can save. I have to admit that at times praying for a miracle and waiting for it is just my way out of work. How much easier would it be if everything that can be done to further the kingdom, God miraculously did for us. We could just keeping “praying” about it. We could pray, believe and wait. Like the disciples, sitting in the upper room, waiting and waiting. After the Holy Spirit comes they just stay there right? Maybe they leave to eat and sleep, but then they just stay in that room waiting for God to show up again, right? You know as well as I do, they didn’t stay in that room long after the Holy Spirit came. There was work to do. God absolutely showed up miraculously and then the disciples GOT TO WORK. We will get back to this.
We spent Thanksgiving in a swirl of the miraculous and hard work. I was telling someone about all that had transpired and something they said got me thinking. Let me recount our day for you. We were up early, prepared to make a journey 1.5 hours west of us. It doesn’t sound like much but all journeys in Haiti are an adventure. We had planned and prepared for days to get to Fond Doux so we could visit Osner, put latches on his windows and deliver food. Osner is our blind friend for whom Woodlake UMC built a home because his tarp home blew over in the hurricane. The day before I had bagged up all our rice and beans (about 30 lbs) to bring and then walked a trail and delivered some to an elderly neighbor. On the way back from delivering food, I encountered another neighbor who needed medicine and I said I would see if we had what she needed so she could buy the antibiotic. I made a mental note to get back to her ASAP. We completed our trip preparations by purchasing needed supplies, spending days getting cash out of ATM’s and collecting the needed tools. We talked to the kids about appropriate foot wear and made sure we had enough water. All that to say, it was a decent amount of work. We knew this was how we wanted to spend Thanksgiving and we felt God’s call to serve. As we were headed to pick up Elimage, a woman literally faints into a puddle in front of our car. We stopped, helped others put her limp body into a chair and see that she is ATLEAST 7 months pregnant. We immediately got water and tried to wake her. Our friend Antoine ran up at that moment and we sent him to buy her a protein shake while we stayed with her. We found out she was not from the area and that she was hungry and thirsty. It is no wonder she fainted. We bought her enough protein rich foods and gave her water and money for transport so she did not have to walk anymore. It was obvious we were where we were supposed to be at that moment. After she was cared for we left with Elimage for Fond Doux. We got to Osners house and got to work. After 1.5 hours of work on his house, we gave rice/beans to Osner and started to leave. Before leaving a young woman entered Osner’s house to bring him prepared food. She tenderly give him warm rice in a tiny bowl and a spoon. I followed her to her hut and gave her food, too. The look on her face. She was so grateful and it was obvious there was an imminent need. While fixing Osner’s windows our friend Willie showed up. He is one of the older boys in a family with 7 kids being raised by a single mom with AIDs. He just wanted to hug Kris, the look on his face when Kris saw him was precious. We were able to give him rice/beans and go visit with his family. We visited with Sylvie, Willie’s mama, for a while and then we started our trip back to Gressier. About half way between Gressier, our home, and Fond Doux is a pizza place on the beach. We enjoyed our Thanksgiving pizza with truly full hearts. We got back home just after dark and we were spent but God had a bit more for us to do. As soon as we got to our gate 2 women who needed medical care just happened by. We were able to give pain meds to a woman with cancer and the money needed to our neighbor for meds from the day before.
I know that was quite a lot of information but it goes to my point. A very loving, well meaning person said, “Wow, you didn’t have to do anything, God just brought all your ministry to you today.” Yes, and no. After reading about our day I know you can see that it was a mix of hard obedient choices and miracles. In my life God tends to move after I do. We made a plan and prepared to serve on Thanksgiving. The Bible has already told us it is God’s will to serve and give. In the middle of our obedience, God showed up with the miraculous. We had food to give because we purchased and packaged. We saw the pregnant woman because we were on the way to Osner. We fed 2 more families because we were serving Osner. The 2 women were able to catch us as we went into our gate, because we had left our gate earlier that day. Sometimes I think we wait too long for God to show us where we should help. Sometimes we are so busy looking for the miraculous way we can be used that we forget that we just need to leave our gate and GO SERVE.
What does that look like for you? Do you have a heart for the homeless? I can assure you that when you prepare to serve, God will make a way for you to serve. Our ministry to the homeless began after we bought the supplies and made the “Blessing bags”. Once we made them, the amount of ministry we were able to participate in is nothing short of miraculous. So step out! Become a Big Brother/Big Sister. Are foster children burning a hole in your heart but you are waiting for the perfect time? God will move once you do. Since living in Haiti, I have learned that most miracles happen on the other side of obedience. Sometimes scary obedience. So check on your neighbor. Visit veterans. Be kind. Your most incredible ministry might be just behind a simple gesture. I heard someone say one time, “Stop waiting on the move of God, We are the move of God!”
Spend time in the upper room. Pray for miracles. Ask for guidance, then get up and go. Leave your gate, church. You are the move of God and the world is waiting. There is addiction, brokenness, loneliness, hopelessness. There are orphans,the hungry, widows. God did not mince His words about what He expects of us. I need to remember this too. We all have our gates we need to walk out of. Go now. Stop waiting for the Miracle, it very well maybe waiting on the other side of your obedience.