December 15, 2011
A Little Fear- by Hunter
Now almost a year after being in Haiti I, Hunter, am sitting down at the computer to write my second blog. Jillian tells me this is the 97th blog that we have done, so I thank her for the hard work. The last year for me has been without a doubt one of the most life changing experiences I have had. We have given up our lives in America to live the life of a Haitian missionary. There are a lot of things that I have learned about myself, Jillian, and my relationship with God. There is no way that I would change what we have done, and I would not take anything back. We are enjoying our lives here. Our new daughter, our Haitian friends, our awesome American friends that live down here working with other organizations, and a simpler life with fewer distractions from God have now made us who we are.
It is hard to put into words how we feel sometimes. You all hear from Jillian about our difficult times and our joyful times here on the blog, but there are so many things that don't get communicated to you by blog or facebook. Right now our biggest fear that we are working through, is coming back to America. That does not sound right at all, but it is true. We are nervous that we are not going to fit in. We are scared that we may be put in situations where the devil will tempt us. We are trying our hardest to prepare ourselves for what is to come, and we are constantly staying in the word trying to find something comforting for our upcoming trip.
I know you may be wondering, what is this big fear of temptation that the devil will be holding over us the whole time? Well, we are trying to serve the Lord by following the Spirit's call to Haiti. To American Christians this is a big deal. More times than not, American Christians hold foreign missionaries up on a pedestal as better Christians or at being better at this whole "being Jesus' hands and feet" thing. When we go home we anticipate people coming out of the woodwork to praise us for our efforts and uplift us. I think these people will be genuine in their intentions, but truth be told, we are no different than any other Christian. Yes we came to Haiti, but we are not serving people any differently than the guy who goes every week to help at the homeless shelter, or the college student who helps intercity kids do their homework in a safe environment after school, or the ladies group who sew bears together for the children at the hospital. Us "missionaries" here don't view ourselves any differently. We are all following the calling of the Spirit in our lives. We are servants just like you. We have simply been called to a different location to do it.
The question then for us then is how do we keep from falling into the trap of taking the praise given and being prideful and boastful in it? Bible 101 teaches us that the Lord gives us the strength to go on and do work. We know in our heads that it is not us who are working and making a difference here, it is the Lord. But we know we are going to get comments like, "We are so proud of you. What are you going to do next at the orphanage?" or "You are making such a difference. I wish I could be more like you" or "I wish I could do something like you, but I just don't think I can." Jillian and I don't know what to say to these things. Do we use these times as teaching moments about how they shouldn't give us the praise for anything but praise the Lord, or do we just grin and go on?
We are trying to prepare ourselves for this. We are preparing responses so that we don't blindly speak and say anything that may give us glory or praise. People may not think twice about what it means to say the things that they do, but we don't want to be those people. We don't want to be the people that misspeak and give dumb small talk answers about our God and our work. I think back to Jesus and everything that he said. He did not give answers or make comments that were not well thought out. He did not speak about himself in a way that was untrue. We feel like we need to speak the same way. We don't want to mislead anyone in the way that we talk about ourselves or our time in Haiti. That is why Jillian does not write encouraging messages or joyful thoughts every time she blogs. This is not a fun job or even life most days. We really have to hold on to the good moments that we have.
I guess what I am trying to say is that Jillian and I need help. We need your prayers first and foremost. Pray that when we get back to America we have an easy transition back into the culture. Pray that we are not tempted to be proud. Also, help us by not putting us up on a pedestal. We are excited to be coming home and excited to share our story, but remember that we are no different than any other Christian in the room.
I don't foresee myself writing on the blog again before we get home, so…I can't wait to see everyone!! See you in a few days!!