Friday, July 26, 2013

The Perfect Servant

So, today, I've been reading a whole lot about serving. Serving my husband, serving my family, etcetera. Even the Bible verses I read today were about serving (Jesus washes His disciples' feet). As I was reading, I was reminded of something that happened to me that I had been wanting to share for months now.

Anywho. Grab a cup of coffee/tea/cereal. Here I go.

Three summers ago (wow!), I had the opportunity to travel to Jacmel, Haiti on a short-term mission trip. It was truly a blessing, as the airplane tickets were donated for all four of my classmates, so we only had to pay room and board. My group consisted of nine college students from three different colleges and one group leader. We did everything on that trip. And by everything, I mean... everything.

Our main work was to work along side Haitian workers to build a missionary house for future missionaries. We also went to "tent" cities, loved on orphan children, helped with class at an "English" Christian school (held in a church), and on top of it all, to spread the Gospel.

One day, after a long morning at "work", painting the missionary house, we headed over to the school. When we arrived, we sang "Sanctuary" and "This is the Day that the Lord has Made" with the students and then prepared for class. The class consisted on having a conversation in English. The teacher separated us into groups. I was the only girl in my group of Haitian boys, and I felt a little intimidated since I didn't know much Haitian Creole.

The class was going smoothly and, suddenly, the boys in my group seemed very blurry and their voices were distant. I told one of them that I wasn't feeling good. Two boys carried me by the arms to the teacher's desk as I told the teacher that I felt faint. The teacher and the boys immediately took me outside and sat me on a chair, under a tree, on a dirt road between the green church and the neighbor's house. The neighbor, woman, who was outside, stripped me from my clothes, leaving me in undergarment and something else. I was mostly out of it at this point.

Then, splash!, she poured buckets of cold water on me! She began talking to me in Haitian Creole. When I was a little more awake, the woman took me into her house, dried me, and gave me her yellow t-shirt and her white capris.

No one saw what the woman did and I haven't shared this story with anyone (I may have shared it with two girls), not even the people I went on a mission trip with (they did wonder why my hair was wet and why I was wearing those clothes). Until now, that is. I feel I have shared a secret with a woman in Haiti for these three years.

I went to serve and love the needy, with a typical mindset of a short-term missionary of what I was to do and what was to happen, and God, funny guy that He is, turned things around for me.

I was the needy one. Physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually.

Despite the language barrier, different Chrsitian denominations, different countries, different color of skin, I was served, I was loved.

"He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, 'Lord, are you going to wash my feet?' Jesus replied, 'You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.' 'No,' said Peter, 'you shall never wash my feet.' Jesus answered, 'Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.''Then, Lord,' Simon Peter replied, 'not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!'...'Do you understand what I have done for you?' he asked them. 'You call me Teacher and Lord, and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him." (John 13: 6-16)

And that is just what the neighbor did. She obeyed the Perfect Servant.


Now you know why Haiti holds a special place in my heart.

How are you serving your neighbor?


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