Friday, November 5, 2010

Show Me Where to Put the Sugar

An excerpt from Show Me Where to Put the Sugar
By Daniel Tolan, Special Assignment
November/December 2010

Daniel and his wife, Cindy, served at Tenwek Hospital in Kenya for several years. Now on special assignment in the U.S., Daniel and Cindy often lead short-term teams for World Gospel Mission. In the wake of the January 12, 2010, Haiti earthquake, Daniel left on a short-term team to offer medical assistance to many hurting Haitians. Read more about his experience and listen to the advice he offers those taking part on a short-term team.

I kept looking for the sugar. Would it appear? Would it be used? I wish I could report to you that I saw hundreds of wounds now being treated with sugar. I wish I could say.… No, I cannot.

But there is sugar in Haiti. I know, because I drank it in my morning coffee and I watched as it was applied to one wound. My impatience told me to apply sugar myself everywhere, anywhere it was needed. I waited.…

The Good News must be like this. Missions must be like this. What we want to give, and even impose on others, will do no good unless the heart makes the decision as one’s own. It has taken me 53 years to learn something about this, and yet I still want to just have people do it my way or believe as I do.

Great good can come out of Haiti. The people are beautiful. They are fully capable of managing their lives, making decisions, and bringing about change that can lead to restored relationships, productive land, and a brighter future. Will we give them permission to do so? Will we communicate that we believe in them and support their decisions? Will we allow them to discover the joy of the kingdom of God that He wants for the Haitian people?

Change takes patience over time.

On the last evening before I left Petit Goave, as I was helping clean up from the day’s work, I noticed something. Sitting on a table under the white tarp in the wound clinic that was held under a large mango tree was a small coffee cup. It was not mine. The spoon in it was not mine. The sugar inside the cup was not mine. But there it was.

There is sugar in Haiti.

MORE: There is still much to be done in Haiti. To learn more click here:
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