Haiti Mission – Day 6 – Oh, My Goodness!

As day six of our Haiti Mission comes to an end, I sit outside this evening on the patio, listening to the waves crash in to the shore, a gentle breeze in the cool(ish) night air. It’s been a long day of hard word and the only thing that would make this evening absolutely perfect would be to have my family here with me now. At times this place seems like paradise – though when the day begins tomorrow, we’ll return to paradise lost.
Our team spent the day hard at work. Matt and Bruce farmed all day, plowing fields in a tractor our team helped repair. The ladies of the team, Amy, Donna, and Dawn, helped with the girls school work today. I cut metal and welded – all day long. I was covered in black metal dust when finished – I miss the quiet, reflective work of my Pastor’s Study.
There is a new boys orphanage opening this Friday. We have three bunk beds made, and another 9 started. Our plan is to hopefully get them all finished on Thursday, and maybe even get some desks for the girl’s school rooms cranked out too.
We’ve accomplished quite a bit in the short time we’ve been here. It’s been hard work, but all of it has been good work. There’s so much that we can do to help those in need, the widows, the orphans, the poor, and the hungry. As we reach out to those in need, what seems like an inconsequential action – holding a baby while she sleeps, folding clothes with a young mom, preparing a meal for a hungry family – to those who receive such kindness our actions are tremendous, transforming, life-changing.
Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, calls His disciples to a life of goodness – a goodness that glorifies God. “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matt 5:16). As disciples of Christ, we are called to share the Gospel, the good news of salvation for a broken and dying world – and to adorn that gospel as “models of good works” (Titus 2:7-10). While, as good Reformed Protestants, we know that we are not save by good works, we also know that we have been saved for for good works, and that a faith without such works is dead (James 2:18).
The problem is, how can I even begin to do these good works when I am so full of sin? I know my heart and I know my own sinfulness. I don’t need to hear Isaiah or Paul saying my righteousness is like filthy rags, that I have fallen short of the glory of God – deep in my heart I know that to be true. My motive to do good works is more often than not self-seeking, self-promoting, “Hey look at me, I’m doing something nice!” Everything I do is laced with, burdened by, my own sinfulness. So how can I be good?!? How can I even begin something called “good works”?
Well, I guess its simple, really. By faith.
By faith I trust in Christ’s perfect goodness and righteousness to cover my sinfulness. By faith I trust in Christ’s perfect atonement upon the cross that restored my relationship with God – that it might be as if I had not sinned, and I am “good” in the eyes of God. By faith I lean not on my own power, but I wholly trust in the power of God’s Holy Spirit to produce in me goodness, the very goodness of God that is seen in the good works to which I have been called.
As God works Hi goodness in me, I am strengthened and encouraged to engage in the good works that would adorn His Gospel.
May the world see, through this broken life made new; through this sin-stained soul made pure; through this godless heart made good; may the world see the amazing grace of our wonderful God, and give glory to Him forever!
SDG
A big thanks to Donna Amundson for the pictures on today’s blog. Not a lot of photo-worthy moments at the cutting table.

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About reveds

Occupation: Pastor, Ebenezer Presbyterian Church, Lennox, SD Education: BS - Christian Education, Sterling College; MDiv. - Princeton Theological Seminary Family: Married, with Four children. Hobbies: Running (will someday run a marathon), Sci-Fi (especially Doctor Who and Sherlock), Theater, and anything else my kids will let me do.
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