My friend Rich is a really neat guy. I don't know if anyone would've thought he would be where he is now. He was super-awkward growing up and more than a little odd. I do not say this to tear down my friend, only to give you some background information. He knows he is one of my friends, and if he were sharing his testimony with you, he would say the same things and more.
Rich is a youth pastor in Oklahoma now, a job I think is perfect for him. Rich loves the underdog, the little guy and he has a huge heart for Jesus. Every month Rich's church adopts a missionary or a cause and raises support for it. Sometimes they raise money for mosquito nets, sometimes they collect can goods. Months ago Rich emailed me and said he wanted to make us their cause for April.
I was touched, but when he asked what we needed I was uncertain. Katie and I didn't need anything, and I didn't think they could gather the kinds of medicine that I knew most Quisqueya medical teams needed. However, I did know that TeacHaiti was going to be needing school supplies for all of their sponsor kids next year. I asked Rich to gather whatever school supplies he could and also raise some $$ for shipping and customs.
They worked all month and put together this:
You know what floored me? He has roughly 8 kids in his youth group. Eight.
His tiny church raised all this.
Rich, champion of underdogs, with his small church gathering stuff for Haiti. Underdog of nations in the Western hemisphere.
I had to email him to fact check for this blog. Twice. It went something like this.
Me - "Really?"
Me - "Really?"
Rich - (exasperated but not showing it via email) "Yep."
But maybe I shouldn't be too surprised. God wrote a book about using underdogs and little guys to accomplish His will. It seems almost cliche to point these out now. Abraham's age. Moses' stutter. David, the youngest son from the smallest tribe. Fishermen and tax collectors as disciples. A carpenter from Nazareth.
Nowhere in there did I mention a prom king, a football hero or a model. Just very plain people.
I regularly take comfort in the knowledge that God uses regular people because I myself am remarkably ordinary. Nothing special. I do not have an above exceptional intelligence, I am not some strategist for community development, I really do not have any special gifts. I am just willing. And God has shown that is enough.
Tomorrow we will show you where all of this is going.