Sacrifice: n. a surrender of something of value as a means of gaining something more desirable.

I love going to Haiti. I love seeing our children at the orphanage. I love visiting my Haitian friends, who are my family. And I love traveling in general, it awakens my soul.

But as I am preparing for my next Haiti trip coming up this Thursday, all I can think about is what an inconvenient time it is for me. It is going to be a sacrifice. I have so many things pending at work. I have so many things on my to-do list to be finished by next month. I can barely catch a breath and now I have to prepare for a quick turnaround back to Haiti. It is a sacrifice of my finances and of my physical strength. It is an even greater sacrifice of my time in my busy schedule.

Then it hit me once again… Is my life about me or for the sake of others? Am I living this life for my own comfort or to make life better for those in need? These Haiti trips were never about me. These trips are always about them – making life better for the less fortunate. I had made a decision years ago to follow my call of living my life in relentless pursuit of God and to live fearlessly in making a difference in this world. I had given up a comfortable, safe and organized life years ago and this moment is no different.

My generation does not understand the word “sacrifice”. We do not know what it means to lay our lives down for others. A little discomfort causes us to whine and complain because we have become such a self-centric generation. Me, myself, and I – that’s what really matters. How often are we really thinking about others nowadays?

Serving others is not going to be comfortable, and seldom does it come at a convenient time! And every single day, we have to make the conscious decision of whether or not we will choose to lay our life down, put our schedules aside and give our time & resources to those in need.

Imagine if Martin Luther King Jr. decided it would take too much effort for a civil rights movement and remained silent; or if Nelson Mandela, after serving 27 years in prison, decided to live a quiet and calm life? How different would the world be today if they did not choose to sacrifice?

What if Matthew & Christine Lunders from Maastricht, Netherlands did not sponsor Stephanie Compere, our nursing student in Petit Goave; or if Stan & Tammy Bumgarner did not sponsor the Bakery for Gregory, our gifted entrepreneur in Fond Doux? They would be sitting around doing nothing like the rest of Haiti, where the majority of the population is unemployed. In turn, what situations could be changed or whose lives could be made better, if you and I are willing to sacrifice [v. to surrender something of value to myself as a means of gaining something more desirable for this world]?