Fond Blanc – A Place of Loaves and Fishes

paulAs Christmas dinner donations have been pouring  in at the Fond Blanc orphanage, my thoughts turn to the Bible stories of Jesus feeding the multitude with just a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish.  If you have not personally experienced the miracle of the loaves and fishes, I want to encourage you to visit Fond Blanc, where it seems that sort of miracle happens all the time.

The story of the loaves and fishes was not one of my favorite Bible stories…until I first came to Haiti five years ago. Serving the Fond Blanc orphanage has given me the perspective to really appreciate this Bible story, because we encounter similar situations all the time – and with similar results!

Haiti is a place where our dependency upon the Lord is an unavoidable reality and a recurring lesson. We serve the children of Fond Blanc as a way of serving the Lord, but what can we really do in our own strength? Between the enormity of the challenges in Haiti and our very limited resources, we are reminded every day that it is only through God’s provision that we are able to deliver even the basic necessities of life.

The crowds with Jesus were hungry. When the disciples realized the problem their first reactions came from a decidedly worldly perspective. How late was the time? How would they feed the people? How far away was the town? How much would the food cost? How would they manage to pay for it all? These are the sorts of questions we all ask when we are trying to figure things out for ourselves.

In those moments we have a tendency to set our faith aside while we go try to resolve the problem in our own strength. We say something like: “Of course I believe in you, God, but right now I’ve got to go find something to eat!” When we do this we deprive the Lord of an opportunity to dazzle us with his provision and care. But experience has taught us we cannot do things that way in Haiti.

Even though the disciples had already witnessed Jesus perform many miracles, in this moment of crisis they looked first to themselves for solutions. If I try to imagine myself in their place, I feel sure the disciples must have still struggled with questions even as they followed Jesus’ instructions and brought him that tiny supply of bread and fish. What then must have been going through their minds as they handed out all that food?

Life in Haiti gives us many moments like this. With each one it becomes easier to just trust God. With each one we revel in the joy of knowing that he can, and will, provide for us. If you have ever experienced the exhilaration that comes from watching your favorite team manage to pull off an unlikely comeback, you have a sense of how it feels to watch the response to the Christmas Dinner campaign for the orphanage. When there seems to be no way, God finds a way!

We posted a simple funding request for Christmas dinners and the many friends of the orphanage responded wonderfully. I feel like the disciples must have felt, sitting dumbstruck on the ground, staring at those baskets of leftovers from those few loaves and fishes Jesus started with. There is just no other explanation besides God. He blessed the hearts of our donors in this season no differently than he blessed those loaves and the fishes so long ago. The bounty that flowed from those blessings is testimony to the power of his love. The children enjoyed a bountiful and joyous Christmas dinner…and we, too, have “leftovers” – extra funds to provide additional meals at the orphanage for the next month.

So we say thank you for your gifts and for being the instruments of God’s blessing in this instance. If you want to see more such blessings unfold, please come visit us in Fond Blanc – a place of miracles with loaves and fishes.

Paul Young

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