Because of Paul
“If you find that nexus between what you’re good at, what Jesus is all about, and the points of issue that are painful for people in the world today, you will never be bored.”
I feel so incredibly honored to be able to write about a passion of mine. A passion where I’m not sure the following words will do justice. But nonetheless I will seize this opportunity to thank Konbit for allowing me to use my God given gifts for His glory. My first month in Haiti has officially passed. Within this first month I have be reminded of so much and have learned many new things. I feel like visiting Haiti is kind of like reading the Bible. Each time you come, something new sticks out as well as a gentle reminder of a lesson you may have forgotten. Since being back I have been able to run a Kids Club. We have about 40 kids in our club and we meet every Saturday under a big tree in a wide field that has mountains as a backdrop. It is seriously so beautiful. I have known for a while now that I am passionate about working with children, especially those whom come from broken backgrounds. But the other day Jessie, asked me to write a small blog about why. Why do I love it so much, what is it that keeps me excited and hungry for more? With this question in mind, I walked into kid’s club looking for the little moments that make up my big passion. My answer is because of Paul.
Paul is this sweet little boy, with a goofy, energetic personality. We connected instantaneously when he asked me to chase him around the tree. This past week, the kids squeezed into a half circle to hear the story of Joseph. Our focus was that God had given Joseph a BIG dream, even when society told him it was impossible. I then asked the kids to share their dreams and what they want to be when they grow up. Eager hands shot up declaring dreams of doctors and teachers. Paul would encourage each response. After someone said “doctor”, Paul would squeal “Yes, she will be a doctor for my kids. After another said “teacher” there was Paul proclaiming “Yes, he will teach in my school.” Paul later declared he himself would be a chef. Then we all chimed in and said, “Yes, you will be a great chef and make us all food.” Here is one of the reasons I love kids ministry. Here is a small snapshot of kids being empowered. Paul was encouraging them and supporting his friends all on his own. All I did was ask a question. It is about providing opportunities for kids to believe in one another as they hear of a God who believes in them.
During our Kids Club lesson, little Paul was squished in the dead center of the circle. Every time I would make eye contact with him he would get the biggest smile on his face and a light in his eye. It was a precious, subtle moment I will forever cherish. But this small moment, is another huge reason why I love kids ministry. It is to remind the kids that they are seen. Not only by me, but by Jesus. Making eye contact with kids is powerful especially here in Haiti where kids are often overlooked. Paul can walk away knowing he is seen and loved. He can walk away knowing he is valued and has a place—all because of eye contact. Every child is significant, every child needs to be seen just as important as an adult of high honor. Jesus fought back society and allowed the little children to come to him. We need to fight back society and go to the little children.
The second thing I noticed about Paul after his cute little face, were his legs. They were covered in open sores and scabs. I don’t want you to perceive this boy as dirty or broken. He is still the same Paul with an encouraging, selfless heart and a beautiful smile. After talking with Rachel and a doctor who is visiting us we concluded that Paul has worms. Unfortunately that is something pretty common here. Last week we gave him soap and some cream to help with his skin and next week we will deworm him. Even writing these words breaks my heart. But this is also a reason why I love kids ministry. It’s not only for meeting their spiritual and emotional needs, but also the physical needs. We want Paul to be healthy and strong so he can become the world’s best chef who will probably write encouraging notes in frosting on all his cakes. Kids ministry is not easy though. It isn’t always playing games and singing goofy songs. It’s teaching kids what love looks and feels like. It’s talking with the mom about the medicine we will give her son while wishing this medicine could be distributed to everyone. It’s the rocking the kids to sleep in your arms because they feel safe. And it’s the time spent in prayer fighting for them on your knees.
Through the hard moments and the easy ones, I am thankful for any opportunity to invest in the next generation. I am truly grateful for all the work Konbit is doing here in Haiti and feel honored to work alongside of them. Thank you for reading these thoughts of mine, I hope they encourage you to see those around you who feel overlooked, to encourage them, and to help meet any need they may have. Before I conclude this newsletter I beg you to reflect on these questions. Let my words not just be letters on a page but a call to action:
What is your nexus? Who is your Paul? What are you going to do about it?
To God be the Glory,