“What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see.” (Hebrews 11:1)
Picture an abandoned lot, torn and ragged tents covering the back portion of the lot and trash everywhere. This lot was originally home to a factory now abandoned. Last summer, our Haiti team pulled our two busses off the street into this lot. Kids came streaming out of the tents and running our way. As we departed the busses, we each picked up one of two new little friends and made our way over to a large plywood shack.
Once inside, on dirt floors, we learned we were sitting in the school for these kids. Lighting was ambient, the room was dusty and kids were tired, resting in our arms as we met a new friend. This kind, strong and capable looking young man was introduced to us as Anacias (he's the one with sunglasses on his forehead). We learned he ran this school, spending his days loving these kids and their families.
Anacias is 33, from another village in Haiti and was trained to work in this area with an international youth ministry. This lot sits adjacent to one of the poorest slums in the world. The ministry that trained him and brought him to this place pulled out. Anacias felt led to stay. So, alone, with a team of teachers and supporters he assembled, he held this school together.
We learned the man who owned the abandoned factory wanted the tents and people off his property. He allowed them to come in and stay after the 2010 earthquake, but they were still there. These kids, their families and tents were in the process of finding new places to stay. Anacias and his team were in the process of finding a lot, and building a new school, so these kids he loved would have a place to go each day to continue their education.
All of these families were leaving. The ministry that brought Anacias here, was gone. Raising money was going to be an enormous challenge. Finding a lot, buying the lot, building a building in a matter of months and holding his teaching staff together in the midst of change were all insurmountable obstacles. Do you get the sense there more than a few really good reasons for a single, 33-year-old man to run?
Well, my friend did the unthinkable. He said yes to GOD’s nudge. He stayed…in this place…with these kids. He prayed. He trusted GOD to be faithful to what he felt HE had called him to do. The money was raised. All through the process his team and the families kept asking him if it was going to happen. With two weeks to go, the lot was still a trash-laden swamp. But, the money came in. Dump truck after dump truck arrived with dirt and rocks for fill. And the building went up…just in time.
I visited this new school on a Sunday, so I didn’t get to see the kids, but I plan to go back and share those pictures with you. You can see in the building below a wonderful school house, a much more stable structure, with concrete floors, a metal roof, chalkboards…it is a beautiful place, filled with the love of GOD’s strong and faithful servants.
Anacias took GOD at HIS Word and he counted on THE LORD to be faithful. What is it that GOD has asked you to do? Are you convicted - this is HIS task for you? Are the odds stacked against you so high there’s really no way it can happen? If that’s so, then you’re in the place Anacias was in at the end of this summer. Only GOD can help you. That’s a perfect place to be.
“O my people, trust in HIM at all times. Pour out your heart to HIM, for GOD is our refuge.” (Ps. 62:8)