Feeling ready is highly overrated. God is looking for obedience. Our faith grows when God gives us opportunities to “go,” and we respond by trusting that He’s ready, He’s got it (the opportunity), and He’s got us.
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age”
Notice two very important promises that Jesus makes to those of us who are “going,” “obeying,” and “following” His command to make disciples. First, we can rest in His all encompassing authority. Second, we are assured of His continual presence.
You see, what matters isn’t that we’re ready. What matters is that He’s always ready for the opportunities that come our way.
This has never been truer in my life than this past April when I was presented with an opportunity to go to Haiti with CPR-3 Mission and the International School of Justice Bible Institute to teach Haitian pastors the book of Romans.
It all started with a brief conversation in Pastor Clancy’s office. He mentioned to me that he was going to CPR-3 in Haiti to teach and train Haitian pastors and church planters and wanted to know if I would like to come along.
I told him I would think and pray about it, discuss it with my wife and that I would get back to him. I was thinking I had a day or two. That same day as I was headed to lunch and briefly mentioned it to my wife. She said to go for it. When I got back from lunch I found out that our office administrator had already booked the plane tickets even though I hadn’t confirmed it with her or Clancy that I was for sure going.
Here’s the important lesson I learned from this experience. If we are truly honest none of us ever feel completely ready for what’s ahead. However, Jesus still sends us out. Saying the same thing He said to His disciples: “Ready or not…”
Ready comes faster if you are already moving. If we wait to move until we are fully ready, we will never move. John Ortberg makes a great point: Jesus doesn’t say, “Go you’re ready.” He says, “Go; I’ll go with you.”
So “ready or not…” I went on an adventure to Haiti with the assurance and covering of God’s power and presence.
We were greeted by a warm encouraging staff including, Samantha (forgot last name), Fregual (our driver and security guard), Stephanie Taylor, Mickens (grounds and maintenance), Moise, Chelo, and Dan O’Deens. We could see God at work right away in the lives of the Haitian pastor’s and employees of CPR-3. Men like Fregual, Mickens, Moise and Chelo. The transformation and joy that only Jesus can bring was evident in them. We felt at home right away at the CPR-3 Mission grounds.
Our teaching sessions with the Haitian pastor’s, church planters, elders, and deacons were memorable for several reasons.
It was the first time we had used a translator and a signer while teaching. You see, we had six pastors from the deaf community join us. These men were precious, really had a hunger to learn and had a great sense of humor.
I loved seeing the whole class’s passion for God, His Word, and their churches. Especially when we opened it up for discussion and questions.
It was interesting to find out that these Haitian pastors have many of the same struggles that we do as American pastors but also have some that our completely unique to their culture…like voodoo, superstition, persecution, and poverty.
We also loved having lunch everyday with the entire staff and all the students from the International School of Justice Bible Institute. Haitian food is really good! Especially the coffee (Rebo), fresh fruits and bread.
Another memorable experience were the various loud noises that seemed to intertwine themselves with our sessions and sleeping…animals (goats, pigs and dogs), loud machinery, and tap tap’s blaring loud music. : )
After a great week of seeing God work in the areas of mutual growth, encouragement and fellowship it was clear that the spiritual battle is real there. The last night we were there CPR-3 was attacked literally when someone through rocks at the solar panels and busted two of them. All the more reason to pray for the work that is being done in Jesus’ name there and for the leaders who are on the front lines there.
We really enjoyed our times of getting to explore and know the diversity and beauty of the Haitian landscape, culture and people. In places like Bercy, Kaliko beach, Petionville (where we had some amazing pizza at Muncheez!), Village (forgot name…where we visited orphans), Port Au Prince (where the mass amount of people and poverty truly takes your breath away), and hiking the scenic and peaceful mountains.
Overall I would say that it was an eye opening, heart gripping, humbling and life changing experience and that the country and people of Haiti will drawn you in with their friendliness and hospitality. I can tell you one thing for sure you will be moved to compassion to meet the many opportunities and needs that are there. I know I will be going back. Who’s ready to go on adventure to Haiti with me? Remember you may not be ready but God is always ready and He promises to go with you. All you have to do is step out in obedience. He’s got the rest.
This post was contributed by Kelvin Cooke, Associate Pastor at Marysville Grace Brethren Church in Marysville, OH. Kelvin and Clancy (Cruise) spend time with CPR-3 teaching at the International School of Justice. If you have the desire to teach or travel to Haiti, let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org