I have been debating on whether I would post something like this for a while now. I’ve gone back and forth on it, always coming to the conclusion that “I will do it sometime but not right now.” Well I know myself; if I keep that up, I will never share. So here goes.
By no stretch of the imagination am I even close to perfect. Those who are close to me and have had an in-depth look into my life know this to be true. I have many flaws and failures: some that are skin deep and others that are much deeper. I believe that a part of me thought that once I started working in Haiti, some of my struggles and faults would magically disappear as if my sin hinged on what I was doing for the Kingdom. Hah. Funny, right? Well that didn’t happen (much to my surprise!..not). My sin struggles have not changed just because I work in Haiti now. I am still Ben, I am still a man in need of a Savior from the same sins I committed yesterday, today, and will commit tomorrow.
I think that a part of the Body believes that missionaries are somehow higher than, or stronger, etc. than other believers. This is not true. The only thing that has changed for me is where I live and what work I do. I am as weak as I was before accepting the call to work in Haiti. I am in need of just as much grace every day. I still fall in the face of temptation if I don’t lean on Christ and the promises laid out in the Bible. Please bear with my ramblings as I am kind of writing this for myself as much as for my friends, family, and supporters.
I say all that to put myself into perspective of where I was before coming to Haiti and where I still am currently. I have struggled with (and many times just plain given in to) lust of the flesh for quite a few years. Back in high school I was addicted to pornography and at it’s peak, watched it about twice a day. My youth pastor Rob O. had started a purity group for the high school guys in YG and that is where God revealed to me that he wants us to be open about our sins so that they do not fester and grow in the dark. I have had several accountability partners since then and I know that is a big part of growing in strength towards temptation. Since high school and the first year of college, I have had my ups and downs, my battles and bouts with lust but it seems to always be lurking around the corner.
Walking in the will of God has been an amazing experience here in Haiti. I have never felt such serenity about where I am and what I am doing. It is amazing to know that you are in the will of God!! There have been ups and downs but never have I thought that “this is the end, I can’t take it anymore.” By his grace I continue to work out my calling with joy and peace. He has been working on me in so many ways. Through all of this, lust has still been in the back of my mind. Haitian culture is less private than that of the US in many ways (of which I will not get into). On top of that, it is a ti peyi chale. (little hot country) Therefore, people wear less clothes. ALSO, God created the Haitian woman with beauty and grace (way to go Dad!) All this being said, my self control is being challenged. It seems as though everywhere I look there is fleshly beauty which is not bad in and of itself, but what I selfishly twist it into, is. I am a selfish creature of habit, I’ll be the first one to tell you. All too often I run towards lust with arms wide open and heart racing instead of protecting my heart and taking precautionary measures to avoid it. I am simply stating the facts of a broken sinner in need of grace.
But I won’t stop at grace. A loving sister of mine recently was talking with me about this very issue and explained that I shouldn’t resort to just being forgiven when I fall. God promises strength and a way of escape in the face of temptation (1 Cor. 10:13)! As she was telling me how she had personally resorted to forgiveness alone and not strength, I realized that I am doing the very same thing. Jehovah Nissi is my strength and in Him do I call. I know that the journey is hard, but righteousness is not an easy calling. If you are reading this and you are a believer in Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit, please be in prayer for yer boy as he serves in Haiti. I want to be righteous, I want to be pure and I am fighting for it. I need the strength that only God in his power can provide! Create in me a clean heart, O God! Renew a right spirit within me. I need self control, I need grace upon grace upon grace.
There are powers that don’t want to see me succeed. But by God I will.
Thank you for your ear as I have poured out my soul so to speak.
If I have offended anyone, please accept my apology. I like to be frank.
Mesi tout moun.
Bondye beni nou,