This past Wednesday night, I had the opportunity to play soccer with a lot of guys from the local community. I want to set the scene for you a little before going forward. I played soccer in high school, but since then, I have probably played a maximum of 5 times in a real game situation (I have juggled or passed around, but I’ve not really played) in the past 17 years. It is crazy to think that I am old enough to say that there is something I haven’t done in 17 years, but I am that old. Anyway, with that said, I am playing against guys who literally play 6 times per week for their whole lives. Needless to say, I am already at a disadvantage. Add on to that the fact that I was at least 7-8 years older than almost everyone else, it wasn’t going to be a pretty sight.
So, I get there at 5 because that is when it is supposed to start, and about an hour later we find a soccer ball and start passing around a little. About 15 minutes after that, the game is about to start. I can honestly say, for the first time that I can remember, I am most definitely the worst player on the field (it is a pretty humbling experience). It actually takes about 15 minutes of playing before anyone even passes me the ball at which point I immediately turn it over to the other team. Finally, about 30 minutes in, I get the hang of it. They play a lot different type of soccer, very aggresive and constantly attacking (they have never heard of a “give and go”), than I am used to but we end up having a blast. I talked to some of the guys afterward (at least I tried to with what little creole I can say and understand) and got to know them a little.
Through this experience, I actually realized something about what we are doing here. It is not enough to move to the mission field and completely shut yourself off from everything and everyone around you. It is very important to get to know the people that you are living with and doing life with. It would be easy for us to get down here in our own little world and worry only about our kids at All Things New, and hang out only with the other americans around because we speak the same language. But that would not really be us being missionaries, that would be us being caregivers for children in a different country.
We want to get to know the people in the community that GOD put us in. We want to do life with them and be people who live the Word of GOD and bring glory to GOD while we are in Haiti. It will be tempting for us to shut ourselves off because of comfort or perceived danger or many other things, but please pray that GOD would always use us to be lights in His world wherever we are. We love our children, and we will always take care of them, but we also want to glorify our Savior with our whole lives. Please pray for us in this way, and we will pray for you in the same way. The same temptations hold true in America. It would be easy to not get involved in a church or your community. It is always more difficult to do life with others (even other followers of Christ) than it is to do life alone, so please pass over that temptation. We can and should glorify GOD and be there for His children, no matter where or who they are!