Guest Writer: Jeremy Hunt
Greetings from Haiti!
Eugene asked me to do a guest blog post from our trip, and I’m honored to do so. We’re just wrapping up the third night of our trip and it has been a wonderful and moving experience so far. Our church works with an orphanage here in a town called Williamson. We’ve already accomplished a lot so far, including laying electrical wire underground, tearing the roof off of the pastor’s house (we’ll put on a new one tomorrow), helping to build a latrine, painting three houses, landscaping the grounds, and spending lots of time holding and loving the kids from the orphanage. The work has been hard, the heat has been sweltering (92 and up), but we are getting to see God move in this place, and that is an invigorating thing indeed.
I’ve spent time at a few different orphanages overseas, and they all have one thing in common. The children have something special about them. They have a desire to be held and loved that is strong and incredibly obvious. When we arrive at the orphanage, it is to the sweet sound of dozens of Haitian children screaming with delight. It can be hard to even get out of the vehicle because they crowd our exit, all wanting to be the first one in our arms that day. I have a boy there that instantly connected with me on the first day named Shal-me. He would sit off aways to watch me as I worked, but the instant he saw me stopping to take a break, he would run up to me with extended arms, begging to be held.
I thought about this behavior being unique for the most part to the orphans that I’ve encountered, but as I’ve continued to mull it over, I’ve realized that this behavior or desire is within each and every one of us. Now most of us as children didn’t go running up to strangers we barely know and cuddle up in their arms, but on a spiritual level, we connect with this. We need love. We crave it in the deepest parts of who we are, even if we don’t always recognize or acknowledge it. We yearn for it so much that we search for it in all the wrong places, each one leaving us as empty as the one before. There is nothing that can fill that void other than the perfect, overwhelming love of our Heavenly Father. You see, we were orphans too – cut off from our creator because of the sin in our lives. However, as Christians by His unimaginable grace, we are grafted into the Vine, called His own! 1 John 3:1 says “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
If you are a follower of Christ, then at some point I believe, you felt the urge to run to Christ with arms extended, and with everything in you, wanted to be held and told that you are loved. My prayer is that as we serve here this week, and as you serve in Jackson or wherever you may be, that those around us would see the love of Christ. That they would be told and shown the love of a Father who is calling us home. Also, that we would remember that it is a wonderful thing to abide in the loving arms of God.
Thank you for praying for our team, and we cannot wait to share more with you all when we meet again.