God Is Enough!
by Steve Duede
Today began early. We were up before the sun. Even before the roosters started crowing. We woke up early so we could attend a Pentecostal church service not too far from where we are staying. The service was held in a huge, but extremely modest building packed with folding chairs; however, very few people were sitting. Most of the folks were walking around, hands in the air, praising God. The band was good and the music leader, Pastor Gary, did a great job of singing and proclaiming God’s truths. I’ll admit, I was all in. Especially when we sang songs about God being all we need. As he encouraged us to seek God first - even before seeking health, wealth, food, status, possessions and any other earthly things we might pursue, I was challenged to the core. Could I do that living in these harsh conditions? I wondered why any one in Haiti would even want to follow God? On the outside looking in, they don’t seem very blessed? The poverty level here is unbelievable. Then it occurred to me that maybe, because they have nothing, God is everything. He’s all they have and all they need. Yes, God is still good and worthy to be praised, regardless of our circumstances! I knew that but now I saw it firsthand. Another lesson learned in Haiti.
From there we went to General Hospital. Seeing so many infants and children sick, some of them dying, was not easy. Their families just don’t have the financial means to provide the care and medicine necessary to heal them. The hospital rooms that housed the children were hot, dingy, stale and dirty. Not a place I would ever want my children to be placed. My heart broke for these kids and their families. I’ll never forget one such boy: a 14 year old named Schneider. He had been there for 11 days battling Tuberculosis. He was so thin you could count his ribs and easily put your hand around his legs. But even in his dying days, he managed to sing a long with a chorus of Glory To God. He said he loved Jesus and we all knew what a holy moment it was to get to be with him in his last days on earth. This was a God ordained moment for sure. The one bright spot of this visit is that the music we played and sang provided comfort and a distraction for the children and their families. Yes. Glory to God indeed!
Our final stop of the day was at an orphanage called Gertrude’s. The kids we spent time with were all special needs kids; some of them had been left on the side of the road to die before being rescued. They not only have disabilities but they have no families. They are the least of the least but they so captured our hearts. I loved our music time there! The kids came alive trying to move to the beat. One of my favorite moments was seeing Guy - one of our team members - holding this teenage girls arm, helping her play a shaker, as we sang. She was in a wheel chair and could barley move her limbs. It brought a smile to my face and my heart. In fact, I had to stop playing and singing for a moment because I was so overwhelmed. The best time though, was spent holding and playing with the kids. One little boy was blind and very clingy. He would cuddle up in your arms and burry his little head into your shoulders. He was so affectionate. We all took turns holding him and many others. When we left, we were tired, sweaty and saturated with a sour urine smell. But man, it was worth it!
What a day! From start to finish it was full of heartbreak and joy, laughter and tears. But it was in these moments that God’s presence was so strong. I saw it in the other team members as they poured themselves out like a drink offering over and over again everywhere we went. God carried us today and showed us what true love looks like. When I rest my head on the pillow tonight my thoughts will end as they begin this morning in the church service: God is enough!