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Practice Love

Back in 2010, I took two trips to Haiti as part of a short-term missions team with the Rock Church School of Ministry, Impact 195. We were ministering in a city called Jérémie, where since then, the Rock has made progress on building both an orphanage and a super kitchen.

This particular trip was seven months after the earthquake that devastated Haiti and many places still lay in ruins. Getting from San Diego to Haiti took almost 24 hours of travel, starting with an overnight flight to the east coast and a morning flight into Haiti. Once we landed in Port Au Prince we boarded a school bus that was built in the mid 1900’s to travel from the airport to our little town. Imagine the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland, except it lasts 12 hours. Bad roads, weaving around rubble and navigating washed out bridges created quite the experience.

As the bus bounced down the road, I began to think of all the great things God was going to do on this trip. We were going to minister to orphans, dig wells, and share the gospel. It was so exciting to think about the transformation that would come to the city. At some point, my mind got off track and started focusing on the bad road, the bouncing bus, and the hot humid weather. With every passing hour, I started to look forward more and more to getting some much-needed sleep. As we pulled into the hotel, I mustered the remaining strength I had to help with the bags. The bags were stowed, the beds were assigned, and I was ready for rest. I knew I would be sharing a room since my wife wasn’t with me on this trip, however, I wasn’t expecting to share a double bed with another guy! There was some miscommunication with the hotel staff that didn’t speak much English and they were trying to squeeze six full-grown men into three double beds.  I was a little upset and I took a walk to cool off (which was difficult since it was still 85 degrees and 80% humidity at 10PM).

While I was on this walk, the Lord started asking me why I was upset. I replied, “Because, after all I’ve done, I deserve to be in my own bed!” To which the Lord replied, “Did I promise you a bed, or did you feel that you were entitled to a bed?” He reminded me of why we were in this country and what it meant to be “others focused”.  I started to look over 1 Corinthians 13 and read about how love is patient, love is kind, it does not insist on its own way. I realized that love involves one thing: sacrifice. How can love be patient, if someone or something is not testing your patience? Or how can love be kind if not faced with someone being unkind? I realized that the Lord often places us in difficult circumstances to give us the opportunity to practice true love. So the next time something upsets you, see it as an opportunity to sacrifice and demonstrate God’s love!

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Greg Lloyd
Associate Campus Pastor, Youth & Kids
Greg spent the first 25 years of his career as a paramedic and firefighter. He recently retired from service as a Captain with the City of San Diego. He now serves children, teenagers, and their parents as the Next Generation Pastor at the Point Loma Campus. He also spends time building teams through relationship management training and conflict resolution.
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