I am very honored to have met Kim at a conference in Chicago in June 2012. She is an amazing woman of God. I wanted to share an incredible story of her obedience and involvement in Haiti through Mission to Haiti. I am truly blessed that she is my friend, and I know that you will be encouraged by this post.
“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 working 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.
When I obeyed a little tug I felt to start sewing dresses for Haitians a few years ago, I began to see clearly that as I followed God in a little step of obedience, he showed me the next thing he had in store. And this weeklong 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.
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.
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.
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 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 sew, 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. Ever.
Maybe God is calling you to a step of obedience. Maybe the “next thing” is right in front of you. Maybe he’s asking you to let go of your fear and trust him. Go ahead. Do the next thing and build those blocks for a life that God blesses.
You won’t regret it. Ever.
If you are interested in more information about 500 Dresses, the ministry that started with sewing a few little sundresses and has blossomed into much more, head on over to our website at 500 Dresses or our Facebook page at 500 Dresses. (You don’t have to be a seamstress to be a part of our ministry. You don’t even have to like to sew.)
Kim Harms runs 500 Dresses out of her home in Huxley, Iowa where she lives with her husband and three sons. She is also a freelance writer and her work has been published in numerous magazines and devotionals including Today’s Christian Woman, Fullfill Magazine and Chicken Soup for the Soul. She can be found online at 500dresses.org and kimharms.net