One thing that my church back in Dallas taught a lot about was the idea of “What is the church?” What is it? The church isn’t a building; it’s people. A church isn’t built out of wood, cement, and stained glass; it’s made of arms, legs, and hearts. It’s a big mind-shift to go from the question “Where is your church [building]?” to “Who is your church?” I understood that concept of the church as the body of Christ in Dallas but coming to Haiti and experiencing the rich community here, I have begun to really grasp that concept.
If I had a nickel for each time myself or someone on campus said that they were thankful for the community that God has placed here, I could fly all of my friends to Haiti and back several times. Everyone in our little commune is blown away by the goodness God has shown us in how he has brought each and every specific person to this place at this time. We are not a bunch of eyes, or a bunch of ears, or a bunch of feet, (I Corinthians 12 reference). No, we have an eye, an ear, a foot, an elbow, a lung, a shoulder, a kneecap, etc. Each has their own role and we all fit together so well. Each person has their own unique gift that they bring to this fabulous puzzle: cooking, singing, hospitality, baking, singing, sports, intellect, compassion, wisdom, and the list goes on and on. This is the body of Christ.
Last night was a perfect example of our “church” here. Many of us “on-campus” dwellers walked to the house of another teacher to eat pizza. This is something they do every Saturday night and everyone is welcome. We went, broke bread (covered with cheese and marinara), talked, laughed, and ended the evening sitting in the cool breeze singing to God. Later that evening, when everyone was back home, Katie and I heard our neighbors singing and playing guitar so we invited ourselves over and sat for a couple of hours singing, talking, drinking tea, and worshipping God with our voices and our friendship.
“All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God…” Acts 2: 44-47.
I don’t know about the temple courts, and as of yet no one has had to sell anything to help the body, but I know that if there was a need, that need would be met in an instant. My words cannot fully express the awesomeness of this community, but I am thankful for how God has provided for me here in this way and the way he is using these people to show me His love.