Monday, March 29, 2010

The Cutting Edge of Faith

All did not go according to plan when our guys arrived at the camp with the first truckload of tarps the first afternoon. Apparently the person who was keeping the list of the families on the hill was not there to meet them, as had been the plan. Not good. So basically what we had was a truck full of tarps surrounded by scores of people desperate to make sure they got theirs. It didn't take long, the guys said, before people started pushing through the crowd toward the truck. I guess the tempers heated up as people started yelling at each other and throwing things, which, of course, made our guys nervous.

Plan A was out the window, which, in Haiti is not that much of a surprise. Survival and success in Haiti is so dependent on adaptability and flexibility. Seasoned missionaries in Haiti are not surprised when plan A fails. And plans B and C. The guys did the smart thing. They high-tailed it back to the house for the evening where they worked on contingency plans for getting the tarps out to the people who needed them.

What they ended up doing the next day was to connect with a few of the church pastors in that area. If anyone has a pulse on their community, its the Haitian pastors.

What ended up working, then, was to distribute the tarps through the existing structure and framework of tiny local churches of that area. Pretty obvious, in hindsight, that churches would be the best way to do it. To be sure, this method would not be as glamourous and sexy as handing them out one-by-one right in the middle of tent city. But the job got done and Haiti is bluer and drier as a result.

I wish I could have been there last week, frayed nerves and contingency plans notwithstanding. For three days our tarp hander-outers (Freddie, Joel, and Steve) lived large. Sweating and hearts racing, they ventured to the cutting edge of faith in God.

The cutting edge of faith... that's where I want to live.

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