It's funny that after more than 5 years of doing what we do, I'm still amazed by the way God orchestrates relationships that foster spiritual growth and life transformation. Typically the challenges you face when traveling to another country and working through cultural differences are trying, to say the least. Language, food, schedules, norms, etc., they all get in the way of relationship, but here is where the richness of our Savior is made known.
This week we dove in deep with 8 people from Haiti. God united our hearts despite the differences in the places we call "home." We shared stories of how our unique life journeys brought us all to the same place this week. We talked about vision with vulnerability because we all desire for a new generation to know God deeper and more intimately than we do. Jesus was the center of our conversations, planning, and prayers.
We shared the story of Paul and Silas being thrown in to prison for casting an evil spirit out of a young woman when we were discussing what it means to be a leader worth following. What struck me about that account of Paul and Silas was not the powerful earthquake that broke the prison walls and the chains of the prisoners. It wasn't the fact that Paul used the power of the spirit of God inside of him to tell a spiritual stronghold to leave, and it obeyed him. What I found to be the most transformational portion of this story was Jesus.
Jesus in Paul. Jesus in Silas. Jesus in us.
There is no way to describe the richness of Jesus with words, but you begin to understand when you read Acts 16. The richness of Jesus caused Paul and Silas to worship in prison when they had every opportunity to be overcome with grief, self-pity, and even anger with God about their circumstances. Instead, their worship and prayer, their simple obedience to stay in-prisoned even when they could have fled, their respect for the life of a man whose job it was to keep them in chains spoke Jesus loud and clear.
Not only did God transform the life of the jailer by allowing him to experience the richness of Jesus but that man's entire family welcomed Jesus in by surrendering their lives that night. What God can do through our daily surrender and worship of our Savior is far more powerful than any plan or strategy we can develop to save lives. When the richness of Jesus overflows from our everyday lives, God can bring restoration to families, communities, and even countries.
This is my simple prayer for our new friends in Haiti. May the richness of Jesus Christ and his love for the next generation overflow from them in their everyday lives.