A couple weeks ago while in Haiti, I met a man named Pierre. Pierre lived in a Haitian village called Leveque. Leveque is what they call a “Blue Tent” village, but was truly more like homes constructed of sheet metal attached to make 8 feet by 8 feet cubes. The day we found ourselves walking around Leveque the temperature was just over 100 degrees, so the sheet metal homes had to be baking on the inside.
As we walked through Leveque, almost everyone was sitting out in front of their homes because it was just too hot on the inside. We met many interesting people that day, but Pierre has really left an impression on me.
As we were introducing ourselves to Pierre, I turned to the student next to me and whispered in his ear, “I’ll bet you Pierre knows Jesus.” Pierre had a smile and joy that let you know something about him was “different.” Sure enough, as our group started asking questions Pierre started sharing Scripture with us. Pierre shared verse after verse off the top of his head and he shared how he and a few other Jesus loving brothers where trying to transform the village of Leveque for Jesus. It was truly inspiring and encouraging to see a genuine, committed Jesus follower in the middle of such brokenness and poverty.
After leaving Pierre, I started pondering how one could have such joy and contentment while living in such dire circumstances. My only conclusion is that Pierre truly knows what it means to live in the Kingdom and walk with Jesus.
This isn’t meant to be a guilt trip blog post. It is just that the reality of Pierre’s life has highlighted for me how little the things I spend time pursing actually matter in the Kingdom. Comfort, money, and influence are such easy distractions to true Kingdom living. In the midst of some of the worst poverty I’ve witnessed, Pierre is able to be filled with Jesus, purpose, passion, joy, and love.
The purpose and drive of the kingdom of this world truly is different then the purpose of the Kingdom of Heaven. Making friends with someone that lives so extremely different than myself, forces me to deal with the true principles of Kingdom living.
Do I want comfort more than Jesus? Do I want friends more than I want Jesus? What are the things in the Kingdom that truly matter?
After making friends with someone like Pierre you can’t help but examine your own life. I desire to pursue true Kingdom living and let go of worldly pursuits. Pierre has helped me see the difference.
They tell of the glory of your Kingdom and speak of your might, so that all people may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your Kingdom. Your Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does. Psalm 145:11-13