Setting out to correct all the church's wrongs, you most certainly will add to them. Setting out to strengthen it, you most certainly will.
On my recent trip to Haiti, that thought kept crossing my mind. You see…I am blessed to live a global life where my job allows me to advocate for orphaned and vulnerable children throughout the world. Because of that, I have been able to travel to many countries sharing the story of God to people who live in the most desperate circumstances. I have smiled with these people. I have cried with these people. I have even reached that emotional wall where you cannot cry because crying wouldn’t bring justice or hope to their situations…or to your emotions for that matter.
For years, it felt natural to try to find the cause of the global orphan crisis. In the beginning, my search to find blame started with that blasted serpent in the Garden; then, over time, my blame expanded to include the church - the very bride of Christ – who had clearly turned a blind-eye to this darkness. My thought was simple, “Why blame the dark for being dark when it’s far more helpful to ask why the light isn’t being as bright as it should be.” Anyway, as predicted, my quest to find fault within the church was easy going. There were many books, Christian books even, that sought to place the church on WANTED posters, citing them for crimes of negligence, fraud, and even murder. As I researched more and more about injustice, the list of wrongs that the church had committed grew monumentally longer and longer.
Then, in 2010, it hit me. This thought process of blaming the church was leading to a point of no return. In fact, it was beginning to lead me into a trap…a trap that conspicuously offered up answers that didn’t include God.
Fearing that entrapment, I ran. I ran TO the church. Since then, I have worked with World Orphans to strengthen churches, both in the United States and abroad. By partnering churches from different countries, I have seen the beauty of Christ’s intended church…a church that shares resources…a church that works together to meet the needs of their communities…a church that rises up, no matter the geographical boundaries, and boldly declares that there will be no needy people among us.
My recent trip to Haiti paints this picture perfectly. I saw two churches from different parts of the world unite with representatives from the United States, South Korea, Haiti, and Brazil - all answering the call to love God, combine resources, and care for orphans. I saw orphaned and vulnerable children being placed in homes and given a new hope and a new family. Don’t get me wrong; as I walked the streets and visited homes, I saw plenty of wrongs too. I saw tons of injustice. I even saw the tears of God. But, in the end, I saw hope…the kind of hope that can only be found in Spirit-empowered churches.