From Christy Chermak (it hardly seems fair to introduce myself so let’s just leave it at this- sinner saved by grace):
This was my third trip to this small island nation and 2nd to Mission of Hope. It has been remarkable to see the growth MOH has had since I was there just last year and the lives their ministry is touching. But even in the midst of seeing all that and clearly watching the good that God was doing, this was still a challenging trip.
More than in my other visits this one gave me the opportunity to speak more in depth with older men and women and the stories I heard where hard. A 16 year old orphan prostituting herself to make ends meet. A young mother trying to provide for an unwanted child from an uninterested father while the community ostracized her. A mother caring for her 20 year old son with cerebral palsy with no electricity or running water. Children with bloated bellies and orange hair. Prayers for jobs and for food. Thousands of orphans and even more uneducated children and adults. Men and women rejecting the gospel because they thought they had to be perfect before they could know Christ.
My heart especially broke for the women I met this week that were struggling to find their identities in something other than Christ. Women who knew of Him but didn’t know that their worth was in Him and nothing else. Women who believed their rape, poverty and debts to voodoo priests defined them, not the way in which their Maker lovingly looks at them.
And as the heaviness of some of the week started to sink in, I dared to cry out to God “what in the world are You doing?”.
This is not the end, He said.
His heart breaks for these things too. He sees the 16 year old prostitute, and He also sees my lost and hurting coworkers. He sees the single mother in Haiti just as much as He sees the single mother in America. He sees the orphans and unschooled in Haiti just as He sees the college student turning away from Him in the US. He is calling His children home and this is not the end.
Not the end for Haiti, not the end for our team, not the end for me. He wins in the end. We are fighting on the team of the predetermined victor. The battle may be long, it may feel impossible but it is not yet the end because in the end He wins.
In the end these women will know how much their God loves them. They will be held closely in His all providing arms. Their past will be washed clean.
For us this is not the end either. This week coming to a close does not mean we return, kick our feet up, and call it quits. We keep fighting the good fight, keep investing in the ongoing battle that has already been won for us. We see everyone as an opportunity to invest in that battle, even the gentleman checking our passport at customs.
He isn’t done. He is in the midst of something beautiful and I am blessed to watch it unfold in Haiti, at Mission of Hope, amongst my team, at my church, in my city, within my community group, at my workplace….in my own heart.
This is not the end.