Right now we are experiencing one of the best moments in Haiti - rain. The rain cools everything off and makes for a relaxing evening and a great nights rest. The rain brings life and growth after a hard dry season. The people rejoice because crops begin to grow and families can be sustained.
It is easy for me to forget how precious rain really is. Although I know there is an impact on my life, I do not feel dependent on the rain. I know it is necessary for all life, including mine, but sometimes I struggle to fully grasp the concept. For instance, I have never been to the grocery store and been told, "Sorry sir, because of the drought we are out of tortilla chips" or "Sorry sir, because of the drought we had to increase the price of Dr. Pepper". Honestly, I live in a very safe bubble that insulates me from some of the realities that other people face, in other countries face every day.
Today, we completed day 2 of the pastors conference. It was another wonderful day full of fantastic teaching and engaged learning. But the highlight of the day was when we distributed Bibles to the pastors and church leaders at the conference. To catch everyone up, part of the planning for this conference was to raise funds to purchase a brand new Study Bible for each of the pastors in attendance. We also planned to purchase a book for each of the pastors that would give them additional resources on Christian living, pastoral leadership, and/or discipleship. Thanks to the generosity of many folks back in the US, we were able to distribute these Bibles and books today. I cannot tell you how excited these pastors were to receive the Bibles and books. It was a blessing to see the joy on each face.
As I watched the pastors taking their Bibles and the excitement that each of them had in receiving something so precious, I realized how much I take my access to the Bible and other Christian resources for granted. Just like the rain, I know that it is important to my life but I am not sure that I fully grasp just how much that is true. I take for granted that, unlike most of these pastors, I have the financial ability to go and buy a new Bible or Christian book whenever I need it. I take for granted that the Bible or other Christian books exist in great abundance in my country and have been written or translated into my heart language (English) in equal abundance. I take for granted the numerous conferences and training opportunities I have to strengthen my faith or challenge my life.
Our heart's desire was to bless these pastors by equipping them with training and resources that are not abundantly available or easily affordable. Our desire is to encourage these pastors to continue pursuing the Lord and leading their people to boldly proclaim the message of Jesus Christ. As is often the case in serving the Lord, we have found that we are the ones that have been blessed by the faithfulness and humility of these servants of God here in Haiti. In their joy today, these Haitian pastors reminded us that God's Word brings joy and it is a truly precious thing to be able to read it, study it, and share it...because many in this world cannot.
Pray for us as we finish our time with the pastors tomorrow. We want them to leave feeling challenged and empowered. We want them to return to their churches and their communities with a fresh vision for what God can accomplish in and through them.