Paul knew that Titus understood the context of Crete and what needed to be done to appoint the right leaders. That is, the people on the ground who know the context and who can respond most meaningfully to the challenges and the task in hand. This way of local, partnership working is one reason why I find working for Christian Aid such an inspiration.
I got to meet Prospery Raymond in person recently. He’s the Christian Aid programme manager in Haiti where this Christian Aid Week’s (13-19 May) stories are from. I had exchanged emails with him many times about resources and other work matters so it was such a delight to shake his hand and see the dimple in his cheek and sparkle in his eye when I met him in the UK earlier this month.
Not only did he share first-hand what Christian Aid partners have been doing to help with the recovery after Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and the 2010 Earthquake, he shared his own story.
He had been in the Christian Aid office in Port au Prince when the earthquake struck. Trapped under rubble for several hours he was unsure he would survive. After a few stressful and fearful hours he was rescued by some local young people.
Empathy isn’t in the list of attributes that Paul instructs Titus to discern in the possible leaders and bishops in Crete. However, you can be sure that Prospery has a deeper connection with the people and credibility as a leader in Haiti as one who has lived and experienced as they have.
Prayer inspired by Prospery’s words:
God of all the earth,
Make us more aware of how we are all connected.
Help us to invest in the change you want to bring
to our sisters and brothers around the world
May our support and prayers give Haitians hope,
and be a positive change for future generations.
I left you behind in Crete for this reason, that you should put in order what remained to be done, and should appoint elders in every town...