rewarded faith

by Kayla Raymond

This past week was a blessed one. We had a team of ten guys from Iowa visiting with a goal to pave the very steep and rocky road that leads up to our school. The road was in such terrible shape; vehicles could barely make it up, let alone motorcycles (motorcycles being the most used mode of transportation in Haiti)

Day one consisted of the team digging trenches and carving out the path they would pave. Days two and three consisted of buckets full of gravel, sand and water being passed through our “assembly line” of workers. I, of course, had to get in on the action. I have never had so much fun working so hard. We yelled and joked as we passed the buckets down the hillside to the cement mixers. Bucket by bucket we got closer and closer to a finished paved road.

And by day five, we had a finished road. Students, teachers, parents and many more will now have a safe place to walk and vehicles and motorcycles will be able to pass with much less trouble.

As we stood on our finished masterpiece this morning, allowing the guys to take some final photos, I couldn’t help but remember the very first time I ventured up that hillside.

Webert had brought me there to show me where he thought the school should be built…at that time we had money to build a single building and the original place only had room for just that. A family member began giving problems, wanting money, once she had heard a school building was going to be built. So, in an effort to avoid drama and being ripped off, we searched for other options and were led to the mountaintop.

Within two weeks, we were sitting in the mayor’s office being handed the deed to our land. Miracles happened there! Land deeds like this can take years to get in Haiti. Two months later we started building our first school building, which held 172 students that year (2011-2012).

Looking back, I now recognize all these pivotal moments of simple faith. At the time it may have seen like the right thing to do, but had we not taken the steps and relied on the faith we had, I don’t think we would see The Lord working in all the amazing ways He has.

If we had just stuck with the plan to build the original building down in Simonette, we would have never have had room to educate the 900 students that we do today. God showed us a way to the mountaintop, worked miracles for us to have it and now has given us room to grow in all the ways He leads.

This is just one example, but I reflect on so many more moments of just down right faith leading me on this incredible journey. The moments have been far from heroic, not movie worthy nor award winning. They didn’t require beauty, fortune or fame. They were ordinary to most, but to Jesus, these acts meant the most.

I believe the moment we say “yes” to His will, He begins moving mountains. When we fall before Him and say “we are all in,” He takes our lives and turns them into something more beautiful than we ever imagined. We were made to take leaps of faith and live dangerously for him and when He sees those leaps of a faith in action, His rewards are much more greater. When we choose to lay down our lives and pick up the cross, who knows where He may lead you.

Another thing I love about taking leaps of faith and watching where God takes me is that being all He requires of me. He doesn’t ask us to be perfect, extraordinary or successful – in fact, I think He likes it when we are a little crazy and flawed!

The Bible is plump full of stories of people who were so very ordinary in their days, but their leaps of faith were what made them known.  They leaps of faith are what have made them legends and we are still learning from them today! I like Moses, he was brave enough to lead his people out slavery to a land of freedom. Best thing about the story: he didn’t really know where he was going, just day after day was following God. And for Moses, when the pressure was on and the army was closing in on him, all he had to do was stick a rod in the ground and before him an entire sea split, leading his people to safety.

Just an ordinary guy with a stick letting God lead the way. Uhh, I need to find a stick like that! But seriously, I find that to be the most incredible thing about God: just using fools like me, people who are brave enough to say “yes” and then using us to move mountains and do His Kingdom work! He could use the rich and famous, the kings, queens, presidents, movie stars and geniuses, but he chooses us!

I also think I love it so much because it allows me to still make mistakes, have a dirty house and be myself without having to feel not good enough, unqualified and unloved.

His words say, “I work for the good of those who love me,” and this verse came to me this week as a group of Iowans and Haitians worked together to pave a road. It was hard, hot and exhausting but I have never felt more rewarded to be a part of something. I love Kingdom work.

“And 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