Living in a culture different than your own has its challenges, its laughs, and more than anything its teachable moments. Living here has challenged many of the things that I thought were undeniably true, and helped me to understand that context and culture is what gives meaning to anything.
While culture dictates most things, there is one thing that it does not and that is the truth of Jesus Christ. Now, culture still affects how people worship Jesus or how they perceive Him, but it cannot change WHO He is. One of the greatest things my friendship with many Haitians has taught me is the beauty of reliance on God. I am not sure I will ever understand what it means to really pray “Give us this day our daily bread”, the way that many of my Haitian friends do, but witnessing their trust has helped me understand better who Christ is.
Every single time we are in town and buy lunch, the Haitians with us will eat a couple of bites and then give the rest to a ‘hungrier person’ on the side of the street. Whenever I watch this happen, I feel convicted because I was really looking forward to those rice and beans – so I hurry up and gobble down enough so I won’t be hungry and then give it to them so I can look like I have the same intentions.
I feel joy in giving, I really do. But it is when I see people giving that do not have enough themselves that is what is hard for me to comprehend. Rather than attempting to feel secure in the amount they have, they give so that more people have enough for today. They trust God to provide, they NEED God to provide! I am constantly challenged when I see differences here in Haiti and although security, both financial and physically, is practically nonexistent, sacrificially giving to those in need is the norm. My Haitian friends are teaching me what true reliance on God looks like!