Thursday, January 28, 2010

Haiti - Getting Skin in the Game

If you were not in worship this past weekend you missed seeing an incredibly large pile of health kits on the stage at Charter Oak Church. By the end of the day, we boxed up 2,104 health kits to be shipped to Haiti. I can't believe I only challenged our congregation to bring in one per person! I guess I showed my lack of faith. God really showed me a thing or two about what He can do through His people! By taking the time to put these health kits together, you were able to get skin in the game. I believe it is all to easy to just send money, which of course we are doing. But I don't ever want us to pay, pray, and get out of the way.

When you and your family went shopping and driving all over Westmoreland County to find the items, it took time. It gave you the opportunity to talk with your family about why you were doing what you were doing. The Old Testament started as an oral tradition - they told stories about their faith. They told stories about God. They told stories of faithfulness and disobedience to remind them that what they did and said mattered to God. As you talked about purchasing the health kit items you were walking in the footprints of our historical roots.

Here's something else that happened, you were given the opportunity to tell others why you were doing what you were doing. Some people have shared stories of telling store employees and managers why we were doing this. Others have told stories of people who don't attend our church, but as you told them what you were doing, they wanted to get involved.

I love the story of the St. Vincent College swim team putting over 200 health kits together. I love the story of the Mt. View Elementary School 3rd graders putting together over 100. I am blown away by the boys' correctional unit that put together over 50 kits and prayed over each one of them before bringing them over to the church on Sunday afternoon. I love the story of a business man who invited the people he worked with to join him in this work and they put together 20 health kits. I know there are so many, many more of these stories that you personally experienced as you got involved in the work of God to bring hope to the people of Haiti.

I pray that this will not just be a one and done deal for you. I hope that you will realize that God wants to work in you and through you in very real and tangible ways - sometimes in Haiti and other times in your Circle of Influence. As you lean into the power of the Holy Spirit you will get to know His voice and promptings and will see God at work in more and more ways all around you everyday.

What a great start to the New Year! Keep praying, keep looking to God for direction, and I will see you in worship this weekend!