I slipped into chapel today, dripping in sweat and casting off my bag a few minutes late with a million things racing through my mind. Today was month end in the finance office, we'd just finished cash counting a million tiny nasty 10 gourdes bills, I'd been printing off worksheets for my class Monday morning, I was trying to get a QuickBooks file to Carol, and today I was up to preach in chapel.
Trying desperately to calm my mind and heart and get myself in "the zone" to share a clear and unfrazzled message on discipleship, I sank down into a pew right in time for the pastoral prayer.
Friday's chapel services are in English, giving the students a chance to practice and listen to English prayers, sermons and worship, and I'm not going to lie...it's REALLY nice to worship in my own heart language once a week!
Aldy (yep, the same Aldy I just wrote about) was up to pray, and as he began I thought I would tune him out and ask the Lord to focus my mind and heart.
Elections for Haiti's new president were LAST October. Due to anger and violence and threats over the results, the results were thrown out. The election was rescheduled several times, but every time, violence would rear up, and make it impossible for the election to be held. In December, the president finished his term and stepped down. Starting in February, a senate leader was finally put into power as interim president.
His job as interim was basically to get an election to happen.
It was rescheduled again. And again. Every time, violence and cancellations.
Bringing us to today, an entire year later, still no elected president, still no follow-up election, and next Sunday, October 9, is finally, for sure (probably), E-Day.
Si Dieu Vle, if God wills.
It's a big deal. It's BEEN a big deal. And just like most of our American friends and family are finding themselves thinking and talking a lot about upcoming elections, most of our Haiti friends and family are, too.
Who becomes the next president of Haiti MATTERS. It will affect lots and lots of things.
Who becomes the next president of America matters, too, and with both of our countries thinking and praying (I HOPE) this all through, politics have been on Matt's and my's mind a lot lately.
So, my peacening and calming was interrupted when I heard Aldy, working through his third language of English, ask God to choose.
"God?" he said simply and earnestly and slowly. "It is time for a president, and we do not know what to do. We do not know what is best for ourselves. We do not know what is best for Haiti. We do not know the hearts of the men and women candidates. We do not know the future."
"But God," he continued, "You Do. And so we ask you, God, to choose our next president. We ask you to choose our president, and regardless of what happens with the elections, we trust that your will be done, because you are our God, and we are asking you. Please choose a president for us."
As he spoke, I clearly envisioned the people of Israel demanding a king, despite Samuel's advice, despite God's warnings. I could hear them arguing amongst themselves, hard-hearted towards wisdom, stubbornly wanting what everyone else had, a King they could see. A human, fallen, limited, finite, little king. A king who would, even if he were a GOOD one, take their sons and daughters and shares and fields and seeds and servants and flocks and money and freedoms.
They refused to listen, and God let them.
But in the end, there was no doubt about it. Their king, and the next, and the next, would be God's choice.
For some reason, until I heard Aldy pray it in broken English nervously this morning, it had yet to occur to me to ask God to choose.
It is with Biblical child-like faith that Aldy puts GOD in charge of Haiti's election, of Haiti's future, of Haiti's president.
It is with child-like Biblical faith that he notes that WE DO NOT KNOW best. And that he asks God in His wisdom to do and allow and to intervene what is best. That may mean a great president, or it may mean a corrupt one, but either way, Aldy believes GOD to be the true king, the one on the throne, and that any blessing or suffering under any leader can be for the glory of God and the strengthening of His kingdom.
It is possible, then, that perhaps God would allow a horrible candidate to become president. Is it possible that perhaps He has some plan that we little people just might not understand? Is it possible that God might plan to use some horrible? Is it possible that God might bring either country a good leader or bad leader? Is it possible that He might also use whatever that looks like for His glory?
What I heard in Aldy's sincere prayer was something very simple and, I believe, Godly.
Acknowledging to God our finiteness and the finiteness of ALL candidates and strategies and platforms...our inability, like the people of Israel, to know and to choose what is best for ourselves.
Asking God with faith, in His righteousness and wisdom, to choose for us.
Trusting God to be on the throne, and to use whatever for His glory, His kingdom come, for better or for worse.
I pray it with Aldy for Haiti, I pray it for America, and I do so with joy. Not because of hope or joy for politics or strategies or candidates.
But with joy because of who my King--unelected, undebated, uncorrupted, unvoted, unaffected--is.