Starving in a land of excessPublished 9:54pm Friday, June 28, 2013
By Rev. Chris Surber
We wallow in material excess while our spirits starve. I’m so weary of having everything I want and nothing that I need. I want stuff and have plenty of it. I need Christ but all my stuff keeps getting in the way.
Last month God opened the door for our family to become engaged with the spiritual needs and physical plight of families in Haiti. Along with a group of local women, my wife spent a week working alongside the ministry of Empowering Haitian Moms, teaching the Bible, feeding the people, and building loving relationships.
EHM was founded in 2011 by a little young lady with a giant Christian heart, Stacie Ulysse. She founded this ministry in Montrouis, Haiti. She and her husband Fritznel have a laser-focus on changing lives for Christ right there in that village where they live.
The people in Montrouis are remarkable. They are starving physically, desperately longing to have their basic physical needs met. They have nothing in this world. But as a people, they are generally happy, loving and good-natured.
By contrast, we in America are no less astonishing. We are starving spiritually, urgently needing to release our stranglehold on this world and have our spiritual needs met.
We have everything in excess, but as a people, we are generally depressed, easily angered and not terribly good-natured.
There seems to be a glaring contrast. It becomes very clear in the example of Raymond.
She is a very poor woman raising two children. When my wife and the rest of her team were there in June, they used some of their donated resources to purchase this family food.
This was the update from the onsite missionary, Stacie Ulysse:
“We do not brag, boast or take credit for donations and blessings to these families. I guess now we have to at least let them know! Last week when Madam Tite delivered food to Raymond’s house, Raymond came home and assumed the food was for the feeding program and she was our new hub. Four days later she came and said “THANK YOU JESUS” when Madam Tite cleared the air. The food was hers to keep! It’s amazing that for 4 days she didn’t touch the food thinking it was for the ministry!”
Raymond has nothing and trusts God for everything. Starving, she protected food for four days, believing it to be God’s provision for her and others in her village. That is a special kind of trust I don’t believe I have.
My wife and I are headed together to Montrouis this fall. We are laying groundwork to take a team from Cypress Chapel and our broader Christian faith community next year. I’m looking forward to building relationships with these incredible people.
I need Haiti far more than it needs me. I need to learn what it really means to trust the Lord — not just for my wants but for everything. “Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust Him, and He will help you.” (Psalms 37:5 NLT)
Chris Surber is pastor of Cypress Chapel Christian Church in Suffolk. Visit his website at www.chrissurber.com.