Sunday, December 12, 2010

Giving it all away

My first 5 months living in Haiti, I stayed pretty much stayed inside the gates here are COTP, and as I have said before, this is paradise compared to other places in Haiti.  I was always too busy to go anywhere.  The few times I did get out, it was normally to go to the beach or the local hospital.  We employ a lot of people from our community, so the houses in our area are relatively nice, and the poverty isn’t quite as bad.  However, since I got back to Haiti almost a month ago, I have been getting out a lot and seeing new things.
Today we went to visit a child who used to live here and his family.  It was shocking to see how little they had.  I wrote in this post that the family we visited lived in the worse type of house in Haiti, but the house that we visited today was much worse.  When Amy and I left, we were literally heartbroken as we realized how little we can do.
We have been watching a lot of sermons and reading different passages during our bible studies recently, and all I keep hearing during these is “GIVE IT ALL AWAY, GIVE IT ALL AWAY.”  How do I do that?  We have given up a lot in order to live here.  We have missed important family events, our parents don’t get to spend time with their new grandson, we can’t hang out with friends, or enjoy a lot of the activities that we used to enjoy.  But we still have so much.
Tonight I stared at my overflowing pantry, thinking I had nothing to make my family for dinner.  Then I thought about the family I just got back from visiting, and how they said they had not yet eaten that day, even though it was late in the evening.  I have no idea what it means to have nothing and felt guilty for when I realized how much I had to cook.
Eventz has his own bed, in nice clean blanket and warm pajamas.  He doesn’t sleep on a dirt floor, under a roof that leaks when it rains.  We have a front door and don’t have to worry about people coming in at night.  Mt son gets three square meals a day, and as many snacks as he wants.  He has more toys than he could ever possibly play with in a day, or a week.
On the drive back from our visit, Amy and I talked a lot about how we want to do so much, but in reality, can do so little.  We both fully know that we are doing good things, and that we are making a difference, but it doesn’t make it any easier when you know there is nothing you can do to help out someone who you have grown to love.
Again I hear it.  GIVE IT ALL AWAY.  Again, I ask how?  Do I get rid of my extra clothes and only keep what I need.  Do I drain my bank account and give it all out as community aid?  Do I choose a few families and invest in them, whether it be school, housing, helping them start a new business, or what?  
Nick and I have been praying that God will open and close the right doors for our future and that he will help us see how he wants us to serve the people here.  We are happy where we are, but is this where we are supposed to stay?  Nick and I have talked a lot lately about starting a children's home and taking in 8-10 kids and raising them as our own.  Should we invest all of our money into buying property and building a home?  Is this really giving it all away, or is it still selfish because it’s investing in something for us?  
It’s not that I don’t have the opportunity to help people out, we are asked constantly to help people with various things.  The issue is more of choosing how and when to help.  It’s about finding a balance.  How do I give it all away, and yet be able to provide for my son, and our future children?  Does this mean I shouldn’t save for the future?  Should we not think about saving for our children's tuition?  We still want to give them all the extra things that we grew up with.
I also realize that God doesn’t want us to just blow our money.  We have to be smart with how we spend it.  It’s just so difficult to see so much need and then look around our apartment and see how much we have.
Earlier today Nick and I went on a quick moto ride.  We turned down a random back road trying to explore new areas.  It has been raining here lately and this “road” was such a mess that we couldn’t go any further.  We both got off the bike, leaving it there, and decided to continue walking down the road.  It’s quite possible that there have never been any friegners in this area before, so we were quite an attraction.  All of the kids from the community ran over to us and followed us on our walk.  They all thought it was funny that we were there walking through the mud and speaking Creole.  Every time we said anything, they would laugh at/with us!!
I love getting out and having these types of experiences.  It’s what gives me hope that we will be able to make a difference here.  We are confident that the right doors will be opened and that we will know who to help and which direction to go with our futures!
This week we were given a the opportunity to help out a family who was really in need.  I’ll let Nick write more about this later though as he was the one who went with the family!
Thanks for your continued support!

3 comments:

  1. Nikki,

    I think your current struggle is one that many of us work through to one degree or another.

    I do know, that the only time Christ instructed someone to "give it all away" was to make a point that this persons heart was not where the wealthy man thought it was.

    Christ calls us to serve, to proclaim His name, to love as He loves us, to take up the cross and serve Him daily and that is done on many levels of calling.

    Hobby Lobby owner donates and supports soooo many ministries and missions...and gives 80% of their profits for this purpose. God pours down His blessings upon them...because their heart is right. They do not "give it all away" BUT they do give abundantly!!!!! And that is their mission...God appointed.

    God looks at the heart...not just the "deed"...if one gave it all away...in the most literal since of the phrase...could be wrong...could be right. In most places...that is not the stewardship that God calls us too.

    If you gave it all away, then there would be no house over your family, no food for your family, no cloths on your self or family...I think there needs to be care in ministries that are pulling the heart strings...and "ify" in the true call from God.

    I BELIEVE YOU ARE FOLLOWING THE FULL CALL OF GOD! YOU ARE MAKING A HUGE IMPACT FOR CHRIST! THAT IS YOUR CALL! GOD IS SMILING UPON YOU!

    Our focus should be that Christ stays the center of every choice we make...every word we say...every act of love we provide...that is being in the center of God's will, His good and perfect will!

    You are on track...don't be discouraged or distracted!

    Blessings and Love,
    Windie

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  2. Nikki -

    You and Nick are doing so much for the people of Haiti. You are doing more than most. It has to be hugely discouraging to see the conditions some of the kids go back to. I can only imagine.

    Thank you for sharing your stories with us, so we can be brought back to the true purpose of our lives here. "We are here to add what we can to life, not to get what we can from it." You are all adding so much to the people of Haiti.

    Karen

    If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one.
    Mother Teresa

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