A phrase I’ve heard a lot the past few months is ‘the church is God’s hope for the world’ – the next few days are going to prove if that is actually true.
I’m sitting on the plane and musing about what the next few days might bring. I’m en-route to Haiti to find a church we can work as part of the Spring Harvest offering. Seems a simple enough thing to do but it’s only now I’m on the plane that I’ve started to think about what we’re going to see, experience and feel when we’re in Haiti.
I’ve been on trips like this before. I was in Bosnia and Croatia during the war – I met people so poor that they had resorted to eating grass, people who’d been tortured, others had seen horrific things happen to their family and friends – all of them people who’d lost everything both materially and emotionally because of the war. Somehow I think what I’m about to see will be different. Bosnia needed help because a war had ravaged the country. Haiti needs help because an earthquake ravaged the country.
We’ve called this offering ‘No Ceiling to Hope’ – we totally believe there isn’t a ceiling to hope whether you’re in a war zone or in a place of extreme poverty. God’s love demonstrated through acts of kindness, grace and compassion can ‘break every chain’ – emotional, spiritual or physical – which seek to ensnare us.
As Spring Harvest, we also totally believe that ‘the Church is God’s hope for the world’. That wherever we are, whatever our context – God calls his people to reach out in love and grace to those around them whether they’re in the church or totally outside it. One of the things I’m most looking forward to about this trip is seeing the love of God made real through the corporate Church and through individual Christians in Haiti. I’m sure their lives will be incredibly challenging.
I’m excited and a bit scared about what I’m about to experience… I know we’ll see plenty of need – in fact I’m sure we’re going to see overwhelming need. I’m also sure that it’ll be a great reminder of what’s really important in life. I expect to get more from being here than I’ll ever be able to give back.
Stuff to think about…
How is your church being ‘the hope of the world’ in your community?
What part have you played in being bringing hope to others?