From Restoration Church Member Paul B:
Nearly three weeks ago, I had the privilege of serving on the most recent Restoration Church mission trip to the Dominican Republic and Haiti. We spent the week training Haitian pastors and sharing the gospel with people in their communities. One of the greatest takeaways I’ve had upon my reflection on the trip, has been an overwhelming sense of God’s grace.
In our conversations with the Haitian people, we found many had great familiarity with Christianity. Many espoused beliefs that reflected a surface level understanding of the faith, but after a little digging, we found most didn’t really understand it. When we spoke of the good news of salvation through Christ’ death and resurrection, people would nod along in agreement. However, after some probing, their true thoughts reflected a legalistic perception of the gospel devoid of grace.
It was disheartening to see the essence of our faith, completely lost among laymen and some pastors. As Christians, our hope for eternal life rests on the fact that Jesus died to pay the debt of our sins and was raised back to life, giving us victory over sin and death. When we respond in faith to what Christ has done, we are reconciled back to God, ushering in hope and life where there was once death and despair. At the center of this message is God’s eternal, unconditional, gracious love. As sinners, we deserve nothing but God’s wrath, but He demonstrates his love for us through Christ. As I learned, this truth is one that can never be repeated enough because, without it, the hope and joy that we have in Christ, is crushed under the weight of our imperfections.
Many Haitians spoke of the impossibility of being perfect and the subsequent pressure that comes as a result. We had the pleasure of proclaiming Christ as our perfection, explaining what he actually accomplished through his sacrifice. It was my joy and privilege to serve alongside the Haitians who have taken hold to this hope (as well as Nathan, Megan, Travis and Noah) and see others begin to understand it for the first time. It was by grace that we were saved and by grace that we were chosen to proclaim his truth to the Haitian people. My prayer is that God would continue to use our church for the spread of this gospel of grace among all peoples.