Confession #141: Am I Evangelistic?
So, would you consider your work to be evangelistic?
This is a question Hunter and I are often asked when referring to our work at Emmaus House. It’s a hard one to answer. It requires a deep breath and a quick prayer for spirit led words. Because so many times, questions like this come with a pre-conceived opinion like: Is concentrating all your efforts on 16 youth really worth it when there are thousands of people in Haiti who need the gospel too?
It’s a valid question to ask, and thus I hope to articulate a valid response……
He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach. Mark 3:14
Really, lets just take it back to Jesus shall we? Yes, Jesus preached to the multitudes. Yes, he fed thousands. And yes, he met in people’s houses, went to their weddings, and healed in the streets. But at the core, he focused on the twelve.
Jesus knew he wouldn’t always be physically present on earth, so instead of spending the three years of his ministry trying to teach and heal as many people as possible all alone, he chose twelve men to train and pass his on talents to. These men would be the ones to spread the gospel to foreign lands, to grow the church, and to witness to others the power of the cross. These men would become the leaders.
Same with us. The needs in Haiti are great- way too much for one small ministry to conquer alone, or even a large one for that matter. And Hunter and I, although we have no end date in sight, we don’t plan on living in Haiti forever. But we want our impact here to be long-term. We want to create ripple effects. We want to start something that will continue long after we are gone. So we chose 16 to be with us so that we might teach them and then send them out to preach…
These 16 are the ones, who, just like the disciples, will take the lessons they have learned at Emmaus House, and scatter the Good News throughout Haiti. They will be the ones who will teach the people, help the widow, take in the orphan. They will be the ones to grow the church in Haiti and become the faithful leaders this country so desperately needs.
So, would I consider our work to be evangelistic?
Absolutely. If your definition of evangelism is based on
numbers, then we probably don’t fit your mold. But if it is based on purposeful relationships that will hopefully effect generations to come, then yes, we are very much evangelistic.
Yesterday, Djooly, one of our boys from Emmaus House, received a passing note from his latest TOEFL exam. The TOEFL, which tests English proficiency, is required for most colleges in the United States for international students. Djooly, who has become more like a younger brother to me than just a student in our program, sat on my couch, shaking hands scrolling through the scores on the website. Once he realized he passed he gave me the biggest bear hug I think I have ever received. He screamed. He jumped. He high-fives Hunter. He hugged my kids tight. I almost cried.
Djooly is one of our 16, and we are about to send him out. He has received all the training he needs from us. Now he needs to go learn and prepare elsewhere so that his impact on Haiti can be even greater.
Emmaus House is often difficult to explain- what we do and why. Why invest so much in so few? I get it. In a world often governed by numbers and profit margins, 16 can seem quite lousy. But one day our 16 will disperse out and that is where the true beauty will begin: When Djooly becomes the administrator of a hospital and serves his community with compassion and love. When Jenny becomes a nurse and helps sick children return healthy to their mothers. When Fredo becomes a preacher and plants churches in places where there are none. When Mackendy starts his own computer business and uses his resources to help those in need.
In the lives of these 16, that is where evangelism will truly take flight.