I looked over at Tikris’s sweet face and asked her if she wanted to get in the water. You could tell that behind the hardness of the look on her face she wanted to, but she didn’t know how to swim, so the answer was immediately “no.”
It wasn’t but a few short hours later when I looked over and saw her literally flopping in the water and swimming all over the place. She didn’t just get in the water – she JUMPED IN.
She was swimming.
Now she knows how to swim.
And you know what’s going to happen? When we go back to the ocean or the pool, she is going to swim again and AGAIN.
A lot of what we see around us are feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness. A lot of what we see around us are people that can’t swim. It’s not because they don’t have the ability to swim, it’s because nobody has ever showed them how.
I mean think about it, how did you learn how to swim? Most of us had swimming lessons when we were little, some of us had parents or family members get in the water with us and show us how, and I would bet that very few people learned how to swim by jumping into deep water and just figuring it out by yourself. Someone helped you. Someone walked with you. Someone showed you how. It wasn’t because you weren’t able to do it yourself, it’s because you needed someone to teach you and encourage you. You needed someone that you could trust so if you started to sink they would be there to pick you back up. You needed that hand to grab onto when the water got too deep or the waves got too rough.
THIS is why we do what we do.
The last team that we had here took Tikris to the beach and literally taught her how to swim so that by the end of the day she was nicknamed “fish” because of her nonstop swimming.
But they did a whole lot more than that, too.
What they built into was teaching people how to breathe life. They held a conference for our Young Lights – to teach them, to encourage them, to walk alongside of them. They didn’t do everything for them, they worked with our leaders TOGETHER and showed them what it looked like to hold an outreach event for the community. Their encouragement has made our young leaders want to dive in for the Gospel. We are no longer standing on the edge too afraid of the water, we are amidst the waves ready for what God is going to send our way.
Every time someone comes on the ground in Haiti they have an opportunity. They have the opportunity to teach someone how to swim. Maybe that looks like the young leader that is taught key leadership skills to use in the future, maybe that looks like a young girl in the community encouraged that she is more than the feelings of abandonment by her father and she is ready to find her true worth in her Heavenly Father’s eyes, maybe that looks like the teenage boy that can’t find work that is taught what it means to start a business, it literally looks like so many things – and that’s the beauty of it. God uses every person that steps into our compound in a different way, because He created us all differently and uniquely. There are things I can’t do that you can do, and there are things you can’t do that I can. The beauty is that He created all of us to breathe life. He created all of us to teach people how to swim. So whether it’s here in Haiti, or somewhere else around the world, are you ready to dive in?
We are so excited for what this summer is going to look like. We have several teams that will be on the ground and we are confident that God is going to use each and every one of them in His own perfect plan.
And it’s not just about the first people that learn how to swim, because soon they will be the ones teaching others how to as well and the cycle will continue.
And that’s making disciples. And that’s what following our Savior looks like. And we are ready, so let’s take off our floaties and