I tend to put people on pedestals.
Let me explain.
First and foremost, I wanted to go on a mission trip to Haiti to experience more of the heart of God. I also wanted to help minister to the people there.
But another reason I wanted to go to Haiti was I really wanted to hang out with Kinsley Smith.
Kinsley is an amazing Godly woman. I wanted to be around her, see her in her element. And I was hoping that maybe, just maybe, she might rub off on me. 🙂
I have to be honest. Before I left, I had a pep talk with myself. I said to myself, “Rachel, you are going to be spending six days with Kinsley. You need to give her grace. Remember she’s not perfect. She’s human and makes mistakes. And after being around her for almost a week you might discover that she’s not as amazing as you think she is.”
Well, I was right.
She’s not as amazing as I thought she was.
She’s MORE amazing!
Yes, she is human. She’s not perfect.
But let me tell you something about Kinsley.
Kinsley is sold out to God.
When God tells her to jump, she doesn’t ask, “How high, Lord?”
She just starts jumping.
And it’s a beautiful thing to see.
While in Haiti, Kinsley took us to visit a hospital. We visited the pediatric wing of Les Cayes hospital. Anybody can just walk right in. The first thing to hit you when you walk in is the smell. It smelled like urine. The place was very unsanitary. Flies swarmed everywhere. The beds were lined up side by side in an open room. We walked from bed to bed asking people if we could pray for them. We saw children with broken bones, typhoid, yellow fever. One child had been in a car accident. Others didn’t know what was wrong with them. And the entire time we were there, we never saw a doctor. Dou Dou told us that sometimes doctors don’t show up because they don’t get paid very well in Haiti.
Off the main room was the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)– if you could even call it that. It was another open room that anyone could just walk right into. Tiny beds with tiny babies in them. They seemed so hopeless and helpless. The mothers were standing there in front of the beds holding their little hands. Again, we never saw a doctor. Was there anyone who cared about all these hurting people?
I will think twice before I complain about my health care.
Later in the week Kinsley got a call from the mother of two of the girls in her transition home. Their mom’s home had caught on fire. Thankfully, it was only a small portion of the home that had been burned. But her little boy had burned his leg and she had burned a few of her fingers in the fire. Kinsley told us that we were going to go visit her on the last day of our trip and see what we could do to help.
I wasn’t prepared for what I saw. The area where this lady lived was one of the poorest areas in Port-au-Prince. Her house, if you could even call it that, was a tiny one-room shack. Rubber crates and metal sheets were stacked together as walls. And she didn’t even own it.
She was renting this place.
We brought her two older daughters with us so they could see their momma and the rest of their siblings. She had four younger children living with her in her tiny home. She was overjoyed to see us when we arrived. She ran into her little home and brought out three of her best chairs for us to sit in.
Three of her best chairs
It took all I had to keep from completely losing it. To her, those chairs were like rolling out the red carpet for us. It was the best she had, and she offered her best to us because she wanted to honor us as her guests in her home.
I walked around to the back and saw the burned rubber crates.
Kinsley went right to work bandaging the lady’s hand and then her son’s leg. Thankfully, they were not burned too badly. We gathered around and Kinsley prayed over the family. Then it was time for us to go. We left for the airport.
I left, but I most certainly left a piece of my heart in Haiti.
Haiti has a way of capturing your heart. Even in the few months since I have been back, I pray, “Lord, help me keep Haiti in my heart!” I don’t want to forget what I’ve seen and experienced there. I want it to change me forever. And as hard of a place as Haiti is, you can’t help but fall in love with the people there.
I want to go back.
One thing I learned from my trip to Haiti was what ministry is all about. See, I get all caught up in thinking that “ministry” has to be something really BIG. That in order to do big things for God and make a big impact, I need a big platform, a big role, a big limelight, and a lot of followers.
But I would be very wrong.
Ministry boils down to one word.
Doing what God calls us to do.
Whatever He calls us to, whether big or small, He just simply wants us to obey.
Believe it or not, you don’t have to go on a mission trip in order to serve God. Of course you can–and I would highly recommend that you do. 🙂
But why should we be any different on a mission trip than we are right here where we live?
Wherever there are people, there are ministry opportunities. I love what Jill Briscoe says. She says that our mission fields are right where we are, between our own two feet.
We just need to obey God and do what He tells us to do.
And obedience is the overarching theme of Kinsley’s life. She simply does what God asks her to do.
Whatever it is. Wherever she’s at.
Some days ministry might be going to a broken down chicken coop and speaking at a Haitian women’s conference. https://wordpress.com/posts/my/flawednforgiven.com
It might be a staff meeting where she shares with Haitian staff members how to fall more in love with Jesus.
It might be sitting across the table from one of the teenagers in her transition home telling her how loved, important, and valuable she is.
It might be going to the hospital in Les Cayes to pray over the sick and wounded.
Or it might be going to a little shack in one of the poorest parts of Haiti to bandage the wounds of a hurting mother and son.
Matthew 10:42 says, “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”
Simply giving a cup of water to someone in need is a BIG deal to God.
And big or small, it matters! In God’s economy, obedience to what He calls us to do matters!
We all have different mission fields. Our callings are not the same. We have unique races to run. We have specific lives to touch for His kingdom.
And ministry doesn’t have to be doing something BIG for God. Ministry isn’t about us any way. It’s about Him. Ministry is about pointing people to a BIG God!
“God doesn’t call me or any of us to be grand. He calls us to be faithful.”
Some days ministry might be having coffee with a friend.
It might mean being a good listener to a cashier in the grocery store.
It might be sending an encouraging text to someone.
It might be telling your spouse how much you appreciate him or her.
It might be rocking a baby or going on a walk with a toddler.
It might be caring for an ailing mother or father.
It might be inviting someone over to your house for dinner.
It might be blessing someone with a financial gift.
Or it might be going on a mission trip to Haiti. 🙂
But whatever it is, when God tells you to jump, don’t ask Him, “How high, Lord?”
Just start jumping.
“People who really want to make a difference in the world usually do it, in one way or another. And I’ve noticed something about people who make a difference in the world: They hold the unshakable conviction that individuals are extremely important, that every life matters. They get excited over one smile. They are willing to feed one stomach, education one mind, and treat one wound. They aren’t determined to revolutionize the world all at once; they’re satisfied with small changes. Over time, though, the small changes add up. Sometimes they transform cities and nations, and yes, the world. People who want to make a difference get frustrated along the way. But if they have a particularly stressful day, they don’t quit. They keep going. Given their accomplishments, most of them are shockingly normal and the way they spend each day can be quite mundane. They don’t teach grand lessons that suddenly enlighten entire communities: they teach small lessons that can bring incremental improvement to one man or woman, boy or girl. They don’t do anything to call attention to themselves, they simply pay attention to the everyday needs of others, even if it’s only one person. They bring change in ways most people will never read about or applaud. And because of the way these world changers are wired, they wouldn’t think of living their lives any other way.”
from her book Kisses from Katie