Frustrated with Haiti Missionaries

I spent a good amount of time last evening surveying the coverage of the Haiti disaster on the national news as I interceded for those whom I saw. In ABC's coverage they briefly spoke to a Christian missionary couple at the international airport in Port au Prince. The couple was there with their 2 young children, waiting at the airport to leave the country. ABC reported that the family had been there for 4 years (it appeared that both of their children were old enough to have been born in the US before their Haiti mission).

In my prayers for Haiti, all the while I was thinking, "what can I do, how could I go help, can I rescue even one of those newly orphaned children?" And in that context I listened to these missionaries from Ohio say, "we came here to help, but now it's just not safe. We have to leave for our own children."

Now, I am not in their shoes, and I cannot judge their hearts, but my heart hurt at hearing that. Americans (Christ-followers and non) are wanting to get up and go to Haiti to help, and the Christians who are already there, are leaving. While we are not being allowed to get in. They are trying to get out. They know the culture, know the systems, have connections. They could get SO MUCH done. I assume that after 4 years, they have friends there... friends with children... friends with now-injured children...

So I struggle. I fully understand the instinct of parenthood to keep your children safe at all cost. And I am not God, so I doubt that I could manage to sacrifice my own child for others. BUT, I believe that Christianity is not supposed to be safe in human terms. I think that I will be called to be quite unsafe at times. I think that I am not unsafe enough at most times. (2 Corinthians 11:25-27) I would love the witness of Christ in His church to be a witness of bold service in the face of all kinds of trouble, seizing each opportunity to promote the cause of Christ.

No Christianity is not supposed to be safe in earthly terms. For my safety is my safety in spiritual terms. (Romans 8:34-36)

And even more hard to say, my children's safety is not necessarily earthly safety, but spiritual safety in Christ.

-- Text your Haiti relief donation to the Red Cross. Text "Haiti" to 90999.
--Give to your church's disaster relief missionary fund this Sunday.
--Watch for your chance to go and serve in the clean-up ministry in the months to come.
--MOST OF ALL, pray for God's grace to prevail in each circumstance and for His followers to rise up and show the depth of His love in Haiti, bringing many in the Kingdom of God.


jaredmismash January 17, 2010 at 10:09 PM  

Are you serious?

Are you "frustrated" enough to go take their place, or are you content to be an arm-chair quarterback and criticize them from the comfort of your in-tact American home on your blog page?

Your comments are distatsteful and opportunistic. Someone might wonder if you were trying to score points as a REAL philanthropist or humanitarian or someone who has actually done what you think they should do.

Jesus taught... Don't use a measuring rod on another person that you have not held up to yourself first! It's fine if you want to hold them to that standard. But only if you hold yourself to it, and if you can prove that you HAVE!!!

So tell us when it was that you did what you think they should have done.

-J. Mismash / Arizona

epic bruce January 18, 2010 at 2:54 PM  

Great comment Jared. I think we all need to measure if we are where God wants us to be and if we are playing it safe. I don't think I am. I think I have stayed the course to which God has called me when the going got tough.

I'm sorry that you see my thoughts as opportunistic and that they are distasteful to you. I really am. I try to record my reflections on Christian life here as I navigate my way through. And perhaps my frustration stems from the situations I have endured in my own life of serving Christ, when I would have preferred to have not stayed the course. You present me with a terrific challenge and I will indeed measure my own endurance once again.

JC January 19, 2010 at 8:18 PM  

Hey Bruce: You are right when you said that Christianity is not safe. We are constantly placed in danger for our faith and just by being "here" wherever that is. I really miss hearing from you guys so I looked around your website. Evreyone says hello. Your missionary friend in Japan
Juan Carlos Gonzalez

Rick February 3, 2010 at 9:52 PM  

Hi Bruce,
just a note to say hi. Miss you my friend.
Rick Roybal

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