Friday, August 21, 2009
making the most of opportunities ( cont.)
9:49 am edt
In my last blog entry I looked at one of Paul's numerous exortations to the Christians of his day to "make the most"
of any opportunities to do good to others. I'd like to take this to a higher level. While many are satisfied
to wait for such opportunities to occur as they live their lives each day, Jesus shows us a different approach.
feel that Christ's own model for us shows us that rather than being passive in this matter we are called to be pro-active
by looking for opportunities rather than simply waiting for them to come our way.
In Haiti as you might suppose
there is no lack of opportunities for intervention - you can be quickly overwhelmed. In this case you have to do
a type of triage and arrange the needs according to urgency.
One such case occurred when by noticing the absence
of certain people from the Sunday service and by investigating I found an opportunity to render a service. Vilma,
an older brother in the faith, had been suffering from an enlarged prostate and for a couple of days had been unable
to urinate. By trying to find out why he hadn't been in the service I found a very urgent need. I had him taken
to the nearest hospital in my truck and paid for them to relieve him of his problem. If I hadn't tried to discover the
reason for his absence it's posible Vilma could have continued to suffer simply because he was too embarassed to ask
someone for help. Keep in mind Haiti has no government health plan. Poor people frequently must suffer from
their illnesses and even die because they are too poor to seek medical help.
Another such case was discovered
by visiting Madam Defenseur when she failed to show up Sunday morning in church. She had stepped on a thorn and the
wound had festered. We found her lying on her mat with a badly swollen leg and in pain. Our clinic provided
injections of penicillen and soon she was doing better.
On investigating why a certain teenager had been skipping
the youth meetings we found out it was because he nolonger had a pair of tennis shoes as the older ones had worn out.
He was embarassed to come so he stayed at home. That problem was easily solved by making some funds available so that
he could buy a new pair of footwear.
Noticing a family was not thriving we secretly questioned the kids and found
out that they hadn't had food for awhile. This also could be rectified. You must understand that Haitians have
never had welfare or any social programs to address the problems of want and lack. They have learned to simply suffer
in silence. In such a culture you cannot be passive in waiting for opportunites to do good to "fall in your
lap". You must constantly be on the lookout for needs and problems. How different from the USA where people
have no problem in vociferously seeking their "right' to be helped.
Let us be more proactive
in our search to manifest Christ to others by seeking out opportunities to do good.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Making opportunities count....
In Galatians 6:10 Paul encourages the the Christians to never let any opportunity to do good pass without using it as
an occasion to show the love of Christ. These moments offer an chance to witness to others how Jesus can change lives and
direct them in doing good to others.
9:44 am edt
One of the main problems of having new converts become active
church members in Haiti is the fact that many couples are living together without being married. One of the "opportunities"
to help others advance in their spiritual lives is helping financially so as to make it possible for the couple to marry.
On August 1, three such couples were joined in a matimonial service at Sauvages where we have planted a new church.
That brings the number of married couples there up to seven. What a witness it is to that community as the church
enables people to get their lives right with God's will. It was an effort and an expense to guide those couples
through the maze of governmental paperwork, lab tests, other requirements in order to satisfy the powers that be.
Gospel Growers was able to provide wedding bands and wedding gowns thanks to the efforts of Cathy See of Mt. Holly,
NJ and Angie Brannan of Smithville, Texas. A contribution was also made towards the reception which was held
after the service when the 3 couples took their vows before GOD and the community.
This 17 August the Christian
Radio Station that we founded and support will celebrate its 7th anniversary. What a blessing it has been by informing,
evangelizing and edifying its listeners with Christian messages, Christian music, and community service information.
This Radio Station is run on a voluntary basis and the listeners themselves (in many cases some of the poorest Haitians) help
the Station to function by sending in bits of cash which enables the staff to purchase gas to power the generator when
there is not enough sun for the solar panels to function.
I am in the states right now and am open for invitations
to visit your church if needed. Call now and we can make plans so that I can come and share with you what God is doing
in Haiti through the Gospel Grower ministries. I can be reached at 412-766-9162 or at email@example.com