Today was mostly spent traveling to Haiti, and specifically to the place in which we would be staying: New Life Children’s Home.
Getting here was a bit of an adventure. We left Nokomis at 2 am, and drove to St. Louis to catch our first flight to Miami, where we would catch a connecting flight to Port Au Prince, Haiti. This was only my second time flying anywhere. My first time was over a decade ago, which was fun, but I think I enjoyed these flights quite a bit less than my first. It’s not that they were that bad (although there was a bit of turbulence), it’s just that I dwelt more this time on just how high in the air we were.
I don’t recommend doing that.
After arriving in Port Au Prince, we loaded up onto a bus to go to the children’s home. I wish I could describe this bus ride to you, but the truth is, no description would do it justice. But I’ll try anyway.
The bus was somewhat rickety, with two long benches on the sides of the bus facing each other, on which we all sat shoulder to shoulder. When the driver first tried to start the bus, it wouldn’t turn over and I wondered if we’d have to get out and walk. But it did eventually start, and we were on our way.
We squeezed through a very tight parking lot, weaved through traffic (or rather the traffic seemed to weave all around us), and wondered at one point if another driver was trying to tell is that we had a flat tire. We stopped, assessed the situation, and decided we were okay.
All of this turned out to be fun, because it allowed all of us on the mission trip together to have a shared experience, to get to know each other a bit, and to laugh all the way to the children’s home.
And that’s where we are now.
Sometimes God wants us to go places, but the journey there is kind of bumpy. Not everything goes smoothly. Circumstances aren’t perfect.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
To be clear, these prosperous plans are not plans devoid of trials. If that were the case, we would not need the hope that He promises us in the same breath. Needing hope implies that things are not yet perfect (otherwise, what are we still hoping for?). Rather, God plans to bless us with the hope of a better future in the midst of bumpy roads. In the midst of dangerous conditions.
And yet, we can also know that these bumpy roads are not there to harm us. Even if it seems that way sometimes, “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). And the Bible is clear that this calling is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
The bottom line when you’re in the middle of a bumpy road is this: love God, trust Christ, and trust His purpose for your life.