Have you ever found yourself overly excited about a particular cause? Or felt your heart ache over an event or situation that you wanted to help alleviate? Oftentimes we feel connected to a particular mission and a pull on our heart to serve in that specific regard.
From my involvement with LiveBeyond, I have experienced the importance of not only recognizing what God has put on your heart but more importantly, learning to listen and be obedient to His will over our own agendas.
In 2012, LiveBeyond bought land that at the time was nothing but an unused field. Our plan was to build a LiveBeyond hospital, but that was it. However, as we started building, we got to know our neighbors and began to fall in love with the people in the bordering villages. There was one particular village, Jacques, about two miles up the mountain from where the LiveBeyond base is located, that at the time really drew my attention.
Jacquese was a village of starvation, disease and danger. All of the villages near our base are poor but Jacquese, in comparison, is extraordinarily poor. Vodou has a strong presence in the village and there are very few men living there, leaving it mostly populated by women and children.
Seeing the desperation, we began praying for the people of Jacques. We commonly found ourselves praying, “Oh, Lord, please look at the people who live in Jacques. They need water, they need good men who will protect them, the children need to go to school and the adults need jobs. They need to be able to grow crops and buy food. Lord, please help them.”
I felt a special place in my heart for this village and knew that they needed God’s providence, but I remained focused on my original purpose for being there – that I was in Haiti to assist in building the LiveBeyond hospital. I was caring for them through prayer but I didn’t seem to fully understand God’s plan until one day I truly listened and heard the Lord speak to me. I heard Him say, “That is your job.” I was surprised but energized at the same time. “My job, Lord?! I’m praying for you to do these things!” But I knew He was right because His plan is always better than what I could ever conjure up on my own.
His eyes are on the poor and He hears their cries. God also commonly summons many of His children to take care of the poor. He empowers them and provides for them so they are able to do His work and take care of the poor to the best of their abilities.
God uses His hard-working followers to achieve His purpose. That means He may also choose to work through you.
You see, we’d never initially planned on having a staff of 90 Haitians working at the LiveBeyond base, but it turns out there were exactly 90 people who we felt the Lord wanted us to employ for His Kingdom agenda. We’d never planned on having a Johnny’s Kids Program for the handicapped, but the Lord heard their cries and He wanted them cared for. We’d never planned on having a school but we’d prayed for the children of Jacquese to become educated, so the Lord provided them a school. He made it clear that He wanted us to take care of those little ones.
The Lord has given you and me everything we need in order to be generous, so it should be our delight to be extravagantly generous to the poor. I encourage you to listen to the Lord – to pay attention to what he has and is emphatically placing on your heart because oftentimes, the ministry that you care about is the same place He’s calling you to serve.