“Indeed we count them blessed who endure.” - James 5:11
The road to Haiti is paved with bumps, rocks, potholes, and the occasional goat, spider, scorpion, flying cockroach, centipede, and crab.
A fellow Rock Ambassador serving in Oaxaca, recently shared with our Haiti team, that leaving the United States to enter the mission field was actually harder than arriving in the field and staying there. After the long process of selling everything we owned, quitting jobs we loved, and saying goodbye to loved ones over and over again, we all have come to the conclusion that counting the cost to follow Jesus and seek God’s kingdom is one of the hardest things we have ever done.
Yet we hold fast to Paul’s words in Philippians 3:8-9: “…indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him…”
We have been comforted by the knowledge that God has gone before us and paved the way. He honors the sacrifices made to follow Him and rewards the obedience of His children when we lay down our lives, embrace suffering, and get out of our comfort zones to share the His profound love.
The Word tells us to “…count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing the testing of your faith produces endurance.”
We have exercised endurance and faith as we’ve traveled and settled into our new home in Jeremie. Sleep deprivation, exorbitant baggage fees, baggage needing to be left behind, airline computer malfunctions causing delays, more sleep deprivation, and in the end, a loss of baggage describe a few of the “bumps” on the road to Haiti. Once we landed in Jeremie, a few of us had no running water for 5 days. The electricity worked once in a while, at the least ideal times, which would cause more sleep deprivation; it was an unnerving thing to discover the big bugs that start appearing everywhere at bedtime. We sweat incessantly and the unimaginable heat has become a normal part of day-to-day living.
But, as with everything, God always has a greater purpose in the trials He allows us to go through. Amidst the obstacles in the beginning of our journey, we have experienced His supernatural strength, peace, joy, love, and rich favor. He has prepared good works for us to walk in, and we have already seen Him at work around us.
Through suffering together, God has deepened our relationships with each other and with Him. We have laughed, cried, prayed, worshipped, and thanked Jesus for the honor and privilege of being here in Haiti and for the opportunity to count things precious to us, a loss, for the sake of His kingdom. We are so blessed.
We are home.
POSTSCRIPT: Melissa Lull is a Rock Ambassador, serving with a team of 9 adults and 4 children, committed to a 5 year mission in Haiti. Before becoming an ambassador, she worked as a preschool teacher. Her heart for children and passion for serving Jesus is what lead her to Haiti. She and her team have plans to establish a children's home, as well as create a curriculum for abandoned and orphaned children. Melissa and her team also have plans to establish a discipleship school, where she will be leading worship and teaching. To give to Melissa and her team's ministry in Haiti, click HERE. To go and serve alongside the team in Haiti, check out Global Outreach's upcoming trips HERE.