Heart for Haiti


This morning my eyes moved from Fox’s TV images of Port-au-Prince to my digital frame photos of Stacey and Bryan when they went to Haiti last year on a medical trip to the photo I took when trying to bring Little Stuff home with us after Christmas!
 Thanks to technology, we have received word that the missionaries we know who currently serve in Haiti have escaped injury from the devastating earthquake that rocked PAP on Tuesday evening. Initially, two women from our church’s college and career group went to serve as missionaries in Haiti. Although we haven’t journeyed to Haiti in years, a part of Dave’s heart has stayed in that island nation since he first visited with Jerry McFarland in 1987. Dave and I returned in 1988 so I could experience malaria first hand; we made later, healthier trips; and Dave took each of our sons on his own father-son mission trip to Haiti. Our first two missionary friends introduced us to others serving in PAP, among them, a single woman from Ohio who chose to adopt 12 Haitian children, and an American music teacher whose Creole fluency amazed us. He and one of the missionaries eventually married each other and have stayed in Haiti. More recently, one of my former students, his family, and parents work at the Baptist Mission.
Even before a 7.0 earthquake hit, Haitian life represented chaos and deprivation. Since all education is private and costly, illiteracy abounds, as does disease, superstition, vodoo, and poverty. My heart aches for the people of Haiti, and my Irish ire fumes when I hear people say that Haiti deserved this judgment from God. When leaders of Jesus’ day tried to trap Him, he told a bit of history about the tower in Siloam. As Luke 13 records it, Jesus faced those who quickly wanted to access blame for a catastrophic event. “Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, ‘Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Of those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.’” Obviously, Jesus’ message warned each listener to take inventory of his own soul and not to judge others’ circumstances. As always, Jesus’ wisdom speaks to every age.

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