love, serve & obey

by Kayla Raymond

“Christ has no body on earth but yours,

no hands but yours,

no feet but yours.

Yours are the eyes through which Christ’s compassion for the world is to look out;

yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good;

and yours are the hands with which He is to bless us now.”

-Mother Teresa

I found this quote in the book that changed my perspective of the world. The Hole in the Gospel challenges its reader to the difficult question of “are you willing to be open to God’s will for your life?” It is a book that focuses on all the scriptures that talks about feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and helping the poor. It is a book arguing that our church and world are living and acting as if all of those scriptures have been cut out of the Bible. It was a book that inspired me and encouraged me in my spiritual life.  It was a book that made me realize I could not ignore God’s calling in my life. It is a book I highly recommend.

Robert Stern, president of World Vision and author of the Hole in the Gospel, concludes that if a person truly commits him or herself to the Lord, his or her purpose then becomes loving, serving and obeying God. “Very simple, yet extremely profound. If we all woke up every morning asking ‘How can I love, serve and obey God today?’ it might change everything ­– it might even change the world.” (page 94)

Here in Haiti, I wake up every morning not ever knowing what to expect. I know I will see naked babies; I know I will see hungry children; I know I will see broken homes, constructed of cement, tin remnants and stone; I know I will see the face of poverty. What I don’t know is what problem will be brought to my attention, what needy person will cross my path or what story of hurt I will hear. I never know how God will use me in one single day.

God has led me to a life where I see, talk and have relationships with people who are “the least of these”. My opportunities to love, serve and obey God are always pretty evident because God seems to always place them right in front of me. I feel Him using me quite literally as His “hands and feet” daily.

I consider myself pretty blessed that way.

(left to right) Cherby, Daphta with their mom, Sonia

How do I feel him using me? Let me tell you a story.

Cherby and Daphta are two sisters who attend our school. They live in a tent village about 2 miles away from Simonette. This past March, their mom was struggling to feed, clothe and provide for the two girls. A mother’s worse nightmare came true, and she had to resort to putting Daphta into an orphanage near Port-au-Prince because she had run out of all other options.

The next day, when Daphta was not in school, Webert was very distraught by the situation because he knew Daphta was a bright, young girl who did not deserve to be living in an orphanage.

Through Touch of Hope, we were able to give Daphta’s mom a job cooking for the school and Daphta, after 3 days in the orphanage, was reunited with her mom and sister. If it had not been for the cooking job, Daphta would still be away from her family.

This past Saturday, Webert talked to me about the need of this family and he wanted to help them some more. We went through some recent donations, found some clothes and bought them a few groceries.

When we arrived at their tent, (I would call it their house, but it really isn’t one at all) I felt

outside of their “house”

Jesus there. It wasn’t me delivering the clothes and food; it was God showing a family in need that He would continue to provide for them.

They welcomed us with big smiles, Daphta’s face literally lit up as we came around the corner. We talked about the past school year and everything that has happened in their lives. The mother recognizes she is still struggling, but you can see hope shimmering in her eyes as she welcomed me into her home.

I’m happy to say both girls are also now sponsored through Touch of Hope’s child sponsorship program.

tent village in Minoterie, where Daphta and Cherby live

I’m seeing how God uses us when we make ourselves available to be His hands and feet. Not only does he bless me beyond belief, but he allows me to do some blessing to others also.  What an amazing cycle.

God is using me. I am a 22-year-old, white girl, with no money and a college education in graphic design. I’m not a doctor, I have no degree in education, and I’m definitely no businesswoman either.

But, I’m here. He is using me, and I know He will use you too, that is, if you are willing to make yourself available.

My favorite quote from The Hole in the Gospel…..

“He does not call the equipped, He equips the called.”