A Haiti postscript -- little things do matter!

Sometimes in a place like Haiti, it is easy to think that nothing we do will ever make a difference. Two encounters happened on our way home that I believe were God's way of saying to us, "It might not appear to you that you are helping, but you are." We didn't do anything spectacular on our trip. We didn't serve thousands of people. We didn't solve wide scale problems. What we primarily did was strive to be a blessing to people. Our greatest gift was to be personally present with people and pray with them. Sometimes it feels like that kind of activity can't put a dent in the problems Haiti faces. Or maybe it helps more than we think.

On the plane going from Port-au-Prince to New York, the flight attendant who was passing out the customs forms was Haitian. Just to be nice, she asked me a couple of questions about why we were in Haiti. I replied that we have friends there, and we are working with an orphanage and a school, and generally trying to bless the people in the surrounding community. She was excited about that. "Thank you," she said. "I just want you to know I appreciate that you go there and help."

Our second encounter was with a TSA employee in New York's JFK airport. We were getting ready to go through the security line, and as we walked up, I heard one of the women there speaking in Creole. I asked, "Was that Creole I heard?" She was surprised that someone might notice, and she asked how we would know. I said, "We are just returning from Haiti. We have friends there." Other teammates chimed in that we love Haiti and want to visit there often. The woman expressed deep gratitude that we would go to Haiti. Right there in the airport, with other customers walking up to the security line, this TSA employee started breaking down in tears.  Jim put his arm around her shoulders, and she took a minute to cry. She said again, through her tears, "Thank you."

Just when I wondered how we can make any kind of difference in the face of such overwhelming adversity as we find in Haiti, God showed us that we are encouraging people in surprising ways. He is good! And it is life's greatest privilege to get to work in his kingdom.

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