“Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.”
The first day we arrived in Haiti was relatively uneventful. We took the best nap of our lives and experienced driving through Haiti. We had plenty of time to settle in to our new environment and prepare for what was going to be the most heart-wrenching week of our lives.
My favorite part of Haiti was driving through the streets. Not because I wanted to gawk at the poverty (which I often felt like I was doing) that surrounded me but because when I climbed in that truck and put my faith entirely in the driver without stoplights or seat belts I felt immersed in the little piece of culture that I could experience the way the Haitians around me did. It made me feel alive and it helped me to understand their lives in at least some small way. Riding in the truck was how I came in and went out of the country and it was a constant every day I was there.
The first day the Gospel was when Jesus called Peter out on to the water. We heard this Gospel twice more that week for a variety of reasons that I’ll just call God-cidences. Of course, this Gospel is MORE than fitting for this past summer when Hillsong’s “Oceans” is every young missionary’s anthem. I had a very unique reflection of the Gospel in the setting of Haiti that came out of fear, trust in God, and a deep desire to give myself to God in every way that he was calling me.
Jesus asked Peter to come to Him across the water. He asked me to also step out on the water in my trip and to trust him. I had so many feelings about the trip and about life. I was worried. But this Gospel reminded me that if I trust God he will help me be brave and if I stumble, he will grab me just like he did with Peter. I couldn’t let the language barrier, or disappointments, or struggles of my heart keep me from answering God’s call to come out on the water. God asked me to set aside fear and to take up faith.
After Peter struggled and doubted, Jesus picked him up and calmed the wind. God knows exactly how much we can ‘handle’ and sometimes he knows we can handle the IMPOSSIBLE like walking on water. God has great expectations for us and I found great value in living up to those by serving in Haiti.