Haiti, day 1: From PIA to PAP

Tonight I will be sitting with my team of 15, and I will tell them, “for those who are on a mission trip for the first time, I think you need to lead this time with three questions

  1. Why Haiti – why did God send you to Haiti.  throughout scripture, God uses several different elements to reveal himself in different ways – a burning bush, a whale, a donkey, a beam of light… What is God wanting to reveal about himself through Haiti…”
  2. Why Now – if we know anything about God we know, (1) God’s timing is usually different than ours and (2) His timing is always right.  We could have gone on a different trip.  We could have gone in August or the fall or in 2012, but why did God put this together now, what is God wanting to talk to you about in your life, NOW…
  3. Why this Team – again, this could have been a different team, this could have been different people, but it’s not, so I challenge you to play the passive role, and not try to assert all your knowledge on others, rather allow God to use these people to shape you in some way…

I believe these are great questions to start every pilgrimage (mission trip).  But I’m not there yet, and I’m dealing with questions of my own, that have been birthed out of these questions.  In fact, this starts with an hour delay of flight, which turns getting to my Chicago flight a bit of a hassle, but what the heck.  I start this trip with a single thought, “I know what I ‘think’ my eschatology is, but if our eschatology informs our current life and ethics, what does my life say about my eschatology?”

A couple weeks ago, when the falsely predicted ‘rapture’ didn’t happen, most of it was lost in jokes, and while I added to those jokes, I have to admit, I was caught up by a huge discrepancy.  The discrepancy was not between what the Bible says and what Harold Camping said, but rather the discrepancy that stood out most to me, was my lack of longing and hope for Christ’s return compared to those in the Scriptures.  The truth is, those in the scriptures seemed to long, desire, hope for Christ’s return; me on the other hand, I don’t normally give it a second thought – I don’t long for it, and if I were to be truly honest, sometimes I don’t even want it to come, at least now.  That being said, according to Titus 2 Jesus is coming back for those who are looking for his coming.  That idea was a bit unnerving for me, and I’ve kind of let it simmer for the past several weeks, then yesterday I read a question by Rob Bell, the same idea, “our eschatology informs our current reality and ethics…”  So, what does that say about me, my life, my direction…

Or what of a question by Piper, “Would you feel more loved by God if he made much of you, or if he liberated you from the bondage of self-regard, at great cost to himself, so that you enjoy making much of him forever?

I guess, I have to wonder, what does my life currently seem to be informed by – I would like to say, “my life is informed by and for God, the Bible, the Holy Spirit or whatever, but I’m not sure…”

If I was really embracing the suffering of others, I too would probably long for his coming to end this all, but if I was stuck in my own little world, always looking inwardly, never worrying about the plight of the orphan, enslaved, and poor, then I would, by definition, dumb down the idea of life or even the meaning of being human and simply be satisfied with my little suburban life, and be okay with Jesus, waiting for a while – but if I was really engaged in the plight of the orphan, enslaved, and poor, I too would be longing for the coming of Jesus.  To add Piper’s question to this, I would like to sound holy and say, “use my life to make much of you…” But the truth is, every speaking engagement offer, every time someone asks for organizational advice, my heart reveals one thing, “that I would feel really loved if God would make much of me…”

What would happen, where would I be, what would I be doing if I really didn’t care for our idea of security?  Would my life look differently if I didn’t care about being noticed and getting credit from those around?  Would I be willing to risk more if I didn’t care so much for credit, being known, or getting my name plastered on something so that people would think much of me?  What if I was okay with NEVER being known or even heard of if God really received ALL the glory for my life and my life’s work.  What would it take to live my life so submerged in brokenness of this world for the glory of God, that everyday I looked for and longed for Jesus’ second coming…maybe the change wouldn’t be in “what I do” but in “how I do it”… I don’t know, but…

These are the questions I go into this trip with…

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One thought on “Haiti, day 1: From PIA to PAP

  1. Wow, that’s a huge thought that I’ve never even considered before. You couldn’t be more right. We should be hoping for and anticipating Jesus’ second coming. And this idea of never getting credit or recognition for doing God’s work… that’s a concept I’ve grasped before and have attempted to live out, but it’s probably one of the most difficult things I’ve ever tried to do. Case in point: most people have told me how awesome it is that Shonna is in Haiti. However, I’ve had a couple of people over the last few days tell me they thought that was the dumbest thing they’d ever heard of. Now, that gets under my skin for several reasons, but if I’m honest, part of me is irritated that they don’t recognize the work that she (and by association ME) is doing, which is in truth God’s work, not ours. She’s only there because God changed both of our lives, and if anything gets done through us, it’s all to His glory.

    Great post! Hope the trip is going well for everyone.

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