Household of God

– Pastor Brandon’s Article from the October 2015 Newsletter

In just a few days, we’ll be boarding a plane bound for Haiti.  I’ve been working hard trying to prepare for this trip both mentally, spiritually, and physically.  We haven’t been to Haiti in three years.  What will we find when we get there?  I’m not quite sure.  What will be different?  What will be comfortable and familiar?  I’m ready to find out.  I’ve purchased airline tickets, bought insurance for our team, and contacted people in Haiti and others who have been there recently.  We’ve contemplated what to take and what to do when we get there.  Now, it’s time to gather my clothes and supplies, load them in the suitcase, and hit the road.

One of the things that I’m really looking forward to is worshiping God with the people of Haiti.  Attending church services has been one of the highlights of our previous trips.

Praising God with people of another culture and language is an incredible experience.  It makes me think of the passage in the book of Revelation where people are gathered from every nation, tribe, people and language worshiping Christ.  I have been inspired and challenged in my relationship with God as I’ve worshiped alongside people who have such a passion for him.

Below is one of the songs I learned on our first trip.

Haitian Creole

M konnen’w se Pitit la

Ou se anyo a

E ou se Kris la

M konnen’w se Senye a

Dye Toupisan

E Wa de Wa

E mwen adore ‘w

Mwen adore’w

Mwen adore’w Jezi

Ou se Premye e Denye

Alfa e Omega

Lyon Jida a

Pa gen lot

English

I know you are the Son

You are the Lamb

And you are the Christ

I know you are the Lord

God Almighty

And the King of kings

And I adore you

‘I adore you

‘I adore You Jesus…

You are the first and the last

Alpha and Omega

Lion of Judah

There is no other

I enjoy trying to sing it in Creole even though I’m not sure how to pronounce everything.  Other than “hello” and “good morning”, this is about the only Creole I know.  So, at least if someone asks a question, I can say “I worship Jesus.”

On previous trips there were Americans living at the Foursquare base camp on a long-term basis.  They worked alongside the Haitian leaders and oversaw the projects on which we worked.  This time, however, there will be no other Americans at the base camp, and we will work more directly with the Haitian leadership.  Pastor Bellande and Pastor Rosinel are both capable leaders who love the Lord, and I’m excited to work with them.  Thankfully, these leaders and many others in the Haitian church do speak English, but I have to admit that differences in culture and language are a bit intimidating.

Despite these differences, it is encouraging to reflect on what unites us: our love for Jesus Christ and our desire to see people’s lives transformed in his name.  While we may be foreigners in regard to nations and language, in Christ we are one.  Paul says something similar of the Jews and Gentiles in the book of Ephesians:

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.  (Ephesians 2:19-22)

In the original context, Paul is talking about Jews and Gentiles—two groups of people who are very different.  On the one hand, the Jews were the people of God.  They were heirs of the covenant of promise, looking forward to the coming of salvation in God’s Messiah.  On the other hand were the outsiders, the Gentiles who knew nothing of the true God.  They were far away from him, without hope and without God in the world.  Yet, God took these two drastically different groups and made them one in Jesus Christ.  He died for all men, and through him we all have access to the Father by the one Spirit.  Those who were once far off have now been brought near to God through the work of Christ.

In the passage above, Paul goes on to say that we are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household.  In Christ, we have been included in God’s family, and we are now brothers and sisters of those who were formally outsiders to us.  This new family is built upon the work of Jesus Christ and the message of salvation in his name for all of humanity.  No matter our country of origin, language, or culture, we are now all citizens of God’s kingdom, and we are being brought together to become God’s holy temple.  The local church and the global church is the dwelling place of God, and he lives in us corporately by the Holy Spirit.

While we may worship in different ways, the same Spirit is at work in us advancing the kingdom of God, and I am excited to join our Haitian brothers and sisters in Christ’s work to redeem this earth.  It is a privilege to serve them, learn from them, and partner with them to spread the gospel, and I can’t wait to see what God is doing in Haiti.  Please join us in prayer for the Haitian church and for our trip.

●Pray that the Haitian church would abound in the knowledge of God’s grace and love and that God would use them to advance his kingdom in Haiti.

●Pray for provision and protection for our team as they travel and work.

●Pray for fruitful ministry and strong relationships with our brothers and sisters in Haiti.

●Pray for the families of team members while their loved ones are away.

Thanks you for your kindness and generosity in sending us to Haiti.  May the Lord multiply your efforts and bless you for your labor for him.