Tuesday, January 03, 2006

It made a difference for that one

People sometimes wonder why anyone even tries to help in places where there is so much that needs fixing. Haiti is just one of many places in the world that seems beyond help.

We have found ourselves thinking that way at different times too. We know that the issues in Haiti are much bigger and deeper than anything we can solve or even 10,000 ministries of our size can solve.

When we were visiting with John McHoul (who has been in Haiti for 16+years) last September, we asked "Doesn't it get you down that even though you work and work you still don't see many big or lasting changes?"

This is not an exact quote but John said something similar to "Every day it gets me down, but I am here because God asks me to be here and to try - so the changes I may or may not see is not really what it is about."

We were thankful for John's perspective for many reasons. We want to be where God wants us, whether we can see change happening or not we are just attempting to walk in step with his plan for our lives. We believe that we can make a difference to some people, some of the time and as long as we are willing to go where God leads us - then the rest is up to Him.

The Starfish story:
One day, an older man was walking along the waters edge, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance on the beach, and so, he walked faster to catch up. As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

He came closer still and called out "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?"

"The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean."

"I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?"

To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."

Upon hearing this, the older man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, "It made a difference for that one."