Making a Difference

By Kyle Adamson

Kyle with friend in Haiti
Kyle with one of many new friends in Haiti
One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a young boy picking up starfish that had washed up on the shore and was throwing them back into the ocean one at a time. The problem was there were hundreds of them on the shore, and the boy was hardly making a dent in helping so many by himself. The man walked over to the boy and asked him why he was throwing the starfish in the ocean. The boy said he wanted to save their lives by throwing them back into the ocean, but the man asked him what kind of a difference could he make with so many washed up. The boy bent down to pick up one, and then swiftly threw it into the ocean. The boy turned to the man and said, "I just made a difference for that one."

I share this story that you may have heard before to explain what I feel when going to Haiti. When you go into a third world country with so many needs, it is easy to be engulfed in guilt and wonder what one person can do for so many people who need assistance.

This is the second time I have been to Haiti in the past few years, but this trip was different. I was honored to go as a guest with One Mission Society. Joetta Lehman was our guide. We took 12 people from Center UMC in Indianapolis, Indiana, for a week to teach VBS to Haitian children. In the afternoons, we visited the medical complex, radio station, school, seminary, and heard incredible stories of helping the people of Haiti.

I was mostly moved by our team's personal devotions as well as the personal testimonies given by the missionaries. It is incredible the sacrifices they make to spend so many years outside of the U.S., but even more impressed with the joy they expressed in serving when and where God called them.

Following a week long mission trip such as this one is more meaningful for what we do after we get back than what we accomplished while there. The time we spent with the children each day and painting the school was important. However, we now have the wisdom God has shown us to better our lives and give back in ways that can help people for years.

We can learn by just observing and listening to the stories of people in other countries. They are not miserable because they lack many things and conveniences we have, but so many have great joy that we often lack. In Scripture God talks about the need to find Joy in Him versus the world. We saw this time and time again to know it is real!

The initial story told us that we cannot save whole groups of people at a time. We can share the Gospel of Jesus one at a time that brings joy to God. Personally, I am working to organize more mission trips to get more people involved. I will also work to get medicine from my field in pharmaceuticals to the medical complex on the OMS campus where the need is great. It may not seem like much, but one item at a time, one person at a time, I want to make a difference for the Kingdom of God.

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