No More Questions

Jill Burrows Photography

"As I stepped onto the Haitian stage, I stepped around half-room size piles of rotting garbage, crowded shanties, street beggars, and vertical layers of bustling human life, all telling the story of the intense struggle to survive."
 -Eleanor Turnbull, Those Who Passed By

Pastor Mark and Becky tried their best to equip us for the shift in culture we would experience in Haiti, but I don't think anything could have prepared me for what I encountered that first day.

Nothing was familiar. As we left the airport and made our way to the hotel, I couldn't help but notice the burning piles of garbage lining the streets; the crowded makeshift marketplaces swarming with people; and a traffic system where pretty much anything goes, as long as you don't kill anyone. Nearly every sense was jarred as I struggled to make sense of it all. What was this madness I had gotten myself into? As we bumped and maneuvered over the rocky terrain, my prayers became a minute-by-minute plea: "dear God, make that car stop before it hits us!" and "please just get us to the hotel in one piece!"

I must have looked as scared as I felt, because later that night Josh asked how I was doing. "I'm being stretched," was all I could manage to say, while internally screaming that all I wanted was to go home. Three of our team would be teaching Haitian pastors, the guys were building a play set at the orphanage, and Sherry was teaching girls how to sew, but what in the world was I doing here?

As I lay in bed that night, listening to the sounds of foreign chatter and music outside our room, I couldn't shake what God had done to get us here. Surely He hadn't gone to all that trouble for nothing. I took a deep breath and prayed, "Ok God, I'm here. Now what?"

The next morning we all piled into the vehicles and headed for the orphanage. As the gate rolled back I could see the children, swarming like a little colony of bees toward our van. They pressed in as the door slid open, and each staked their claim as we stepped down. Their smiles made it perfectly evident how happy they were to see us, despite the fact that they'd never laid eyes on us before. They tried their best, despite the language barrier, to tell us all about themselves and ask us who we were, and amidst the chaos and confusion God whispered, "love them like I do."

"But how is this going to work?" I wondered. I can't even communicate with them! There were still so many questions He hadn't answered! I wasn't ready yet!

Later that evening, we met back at the hotel for our nightly debriefing and devotions. The first passage Pastor Mark had given us to read was Psalm 37:3-9.

"Trust in the Lord, and do good; 
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. 
Take delight in the Lord, 
and He will give you the desires of your heart. 
Commit your way to the Lord;
 trust in Him and He will do this: 
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
 your vindication like the noonday sun.
 Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for Him; 
do not fret when people succeed in their ways, 
when they carry out their wicked schemes. 
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
 do not fret: it leads only to evil. 
For those who are evil will be destroyed, 
but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land." 

I was immediately convicted. God had made it so clearly evident from the very beginning that this trip was of Him. He'd orchestrated every detail to get us here, and here I was, still questioning His plan a day and half into our stay. Yet here He was, again, patiently showing me that He'd known all along that this was going to be my attitude. He'd planned for it with these verses.

I wrote this down in my notes:

"If God allows it, or calls me to it, my job is to trust, to delight, and to wait patiently. Worry and anger are never correct responses to what is happening in my life." 

I had never been more uncomfortable for Jesus, but maybe that was the point. Maybe He'd brought me thousands of miles away from everything comfortable and familiar-- to the end of myself-- so He could begin to give me a glimpse of how big He really is.

Ok, God. No more questions. I'm all in.



  1. Love this! I have been a on four missions trips and every one of them was an act of trusting the Lord and allowing Him to work in and through me. My life has been forever changed.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts