When You Give of Yourself and God Gives Back

Artwork by Kim Harms

“He lives right over there. Do you want me to go get him?”

My heart leapt to my throat as I thought, “Really Lord? Is this for real?”

As I watched the Mission to Haiti employee walk off the mission grounds to find Jean Jacques, I was overwhelmed by this God, who not only provided for me to stand again on Haitian soil, but who loved me so much he would allow me to meet my grown up sponsor child.

Corey and I were serving with a team on a short-term mission trip in Haiti. He was putting a roof on a house. I was teaching sewing classes. This trip brought to fruition a long-time desire of mine to return to the country. And it was the culmination of walking through a lot of doors God opened for us.

Answering the Call to Give

When I obeyed a little tug I felt to start sewing dresses for Haitians a number of years ago, I began to see clearly that as I followed God in a little step of obedience and gave of myself what he wanted me to give, he showed me the next thing he had in store. And this week-long trip to Haiti was one of those next things.

In his book The 10-Second Rule, Clare DeGraf says that character is shaped less by our big dramatic decisions than by the cumulative impact of thousands of small acts of obedience. Those small acts shape our character and prepare our hearts to accept more bold assignments from God. They are building blocks for a life that God blesses.

This trip to Haiti was a bold assignment. And God chose to go over the top with blessings during that week.

Getting Reacquainted with our Sponsor Child

As I stood in the shade of the mission office building waiting for Jean Jacques to walk through the gate, I thought of our first meeting many years ago.

Photo by Kim Harms
Me with Jean Jacques 1997

It was 1997. He was an adorable timid face on a sponsor card.  And I was a 21-year-old college student worlds away from home. I met little Jean Jacques and his family at his two-room block house with the tin roof and the flowing curtain in the door. From that moment I loved him. And for years I looked forward to the letters and photos I regularly received from him.

But now it was 2013. He was 20-something and I hadn’t heard a word about him in 3 years. I wasn’t sure this was really happening until I saw him walk through the gate.

Soon Corey and I were talking with a much-taller-than-me-grown-up Jean Jacques in the shade of the office building. Jean Jacques shared with Corey that everyone calls his father “Papa” and he often does construction work with the short-term Mission to Haiti teams when they visit.

“Papa?” Corey asked. “The Papa I’ve been working with this week?” I can’t even type those words without tears.

Photo by Kim Harms
Corey and Me with Jean Jacques 2013

How great is the love that the Father has lavished on us.

Of all the men in the capital city of Port-au-Prince, one of the small handful of Haitian guys Corey was working with was the father of the boy we have prayed for and supported since even before we were married.

All this because; one, my father in heaven adores me, and two, when I knew he was asking me to give in the way of sewing, even though my skills are mediocre and my passion for the craft is lacking, I chose to obey.

I don’t always want to do the “next thing” God wants me to do, and I certainly don’t always obey, but I never regret my obedience. Click To Tweet

Maybe God is calling you to a step of obedience. Maybe he’s asking you to give of yourself. Maybe the “next thing” is right in front of you. Go ahead. Do the next thing and build those blocks for a life that God blesses.

You won’t regret it. Ever.

Kim Harms

Kim Harms is a writer and speaker who is represented by Literary Agent Karen Neumair of Credo Communications. She is under contract with Familius Publishing for her first book, tentatively titled Life Reconstructed. Harms has a degree in English: Literary Studies from Iowa State University and was a regular contributor at the former Today's Christian Woman. She underwent a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction surgeries in 2016 after being diagnosed with breast cancer and writes about her Life Reconstructed at kimharms.net. Central Iowa is home, and she lives there with her husband Corey and their 3 ever-growing man-children.

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