Foolishly following the law of love

Published 9:34 pm Friday, August 29, 2014

By Chris Surber

My family and I were in Haiti last week. We took a team of 27 people on a mission trip to the city of Montrouis, where we will move to live in just a few months. We took medical supplies, school supplies and a dozen other kinds of things with us.

We left Virginia with full sea bags. They came back empty. We left Virginia with hearts full of love, emptied them, and then had them filled back up to overflowing as we gave and received love to the Haitian people.

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Stuff matters. Supplies are helpful. But love changes things.

One of the days we were in Haiti we loaded a Range Rover with 10 people and headed down to the “Fishing Village” to do a free first-aid clinic. As we drove through what constitutes downtown Montrouis, local Haitians pointed and laughed at us.

I drove over the curb down the rocky, dusty trail to the Fishing Village with two women in the front seat; one in the seat, the other on her lap with her posterior situated well outside the window. The back seat and the rear cargo area were no less uncomfortably loaded with human flesh. The car was filled with laughter, and our hearts were filled with love.

We dispensed first aid supplies and bandaged a few wounds, but most of all we distributed love through a lot of hugs and smiles. We had packed our sea bags full of stuff, and we had packed that car full of people, but the love of Jesus we gave out among the Haitian people was most important.

On our trip we paid for some significant improvements to an orphanage, we built tables for children at a feeding and Bible-teaching program, we trained pastors, encouraged church leaders, baptized new believers and a whole bunch of other stuff. But it was all built on a foundation of sharing the love of God.

That’s what the church is supposed to look like. That’s what New Testament Christianity is all about. We are called to love God, love people and make disciples as we go. That’s it.

In Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (ESV)

Jesus did not call us to respectable, well-dressed religion. We are called to be fools for Jesus, journeying with our posteriors hanging out of car windows, doing whatever it takes to share the love of God with people everywhere.

“We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute.” (I Corinthians 4:10 ESV)

Chris Surber is pastor of Cypress Chapel Christian Church in Suffolk. Visit his website at