How BIG Is Your God?
By Susan Watkins, Haiti Ministry Team Leader
In June, I participated in what can only be described as the “faith adventure of a lifetime” to Kenya, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Egypt. Over the course of two weeks in Africa, I repeatedly saw the miracles that God has worked in those four countries. I returned knowing that God does (not can do) the impossible, and he does it through ordinary people like you and me. To my surprise, He revealed himself as so much BIGGER than I had ever imagined him to be.
In Hebrews 11:1, it says, “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” (NLT) For three years, I’ve been involved with Pastor Samuel and the Glory Glory Center in Haiti…and I’ve had faith that God will do great things there. In fact, He’s already doing great things, as evidenced by the Glory Glory Center itself, it’s church and medical clinic, and a variety of fledgling sustainability initiatives which are beginning to take off there. (See Sustaining Life at the Glory Glory Center.)
But despite my faith that God will do great things, I can easily find myself frustrated by the day-to-day and lose sight of the big picture. I can feel bogged down by how long things take, by a lack of resources, the language barrier, differing priorities, etc. These very real, human challenges can blind us to that which we can’t actually see…the end game…the ultimate purpose.
When I was first invited to join the faith adventure to Africa, I felt God calling me to go. However, I will admit, I didn’t quite understand why I was being called there, when I already felt such a connection to Haiti. But today, I know. There, in Africa, I saw with my own eyes what God has done in Kenya, Uganda, Congo (DRC), and Egypt that is BIGGER than anything I could have imagined. I’ve seen Haiti as it is today, and I saw in Africa what God will do in Haiti. Obviously, what will actually come to pass in Haiti will be different, but it will be just as BIG and just as certain.
Sam’s ministry in Haiti is today where the Ntotos ministry in the DRC was 10 years ago, and it was through their ministry that God showed me just how BIG He is. Congo is often referred to as “the rape capital of the world” and “the most dangerous place on earth to be a woman”. The Ntotos first began to address this issue by talking with small groups of men in their living room, teaching them to think differently about themselves and their relationship with God (80% of the population is Christian), followed by their relationships with their wives, children, extended families and communities. As the men’s thoughts began to change, they expressed frustration that their wives weren’t necessarily happy with their “new” men. Because they had lived in an oppressive, violent environment all their lives, it’s all the women knew. It was familiar to them, and they were suspect of their husband’s new way of thinking. Thus, another need was identified, and Virtuous Women was launched. Today, the Sons of Congo network has helped thousands of men in multiple cities and towns embrace a Christ-centered life; Virtuous Women has empowered women in eastern Congo by building their self-esteem, providing literacy training and vocational skills; and additional ministries have been launched targeting children (Generation Hope) and youth (Leadership Academy). Though started by the Ntotos, these ministries have expanded exponentially by the very participants who’s lives were so transformed, that they, in turn, felt compelled to share their experience with others, launching new chapters of these ministries in their own communities.
The Ntotos never expected this type of explosive growth. They didn’t even imagine they’d be working with women or kids or youth back when they first started out with that small group of men in their living room. But God did! In the same way, God knows what he’s going to do in Haiti through Sam and his team, and it’s going to be SO MUCH BIGGER than any of us, including Sam, can imagine.
God sent me to Africa to see, and now I know. No matter the delays, lack of resources, language barrier, or differing priorities, it’s going to happen…and it’s going to change Haiti.