HELP PROVIDE LONGTERM CARE IN THE NATION OF HAITI
CrossWorld is a mission agency that has enjoyed a vibrant and effective presence in Haiti for many years, cooperating in efforts relating to education, medicine, church planting, evangelism, etc. In the aftermath of this devastating earthquake, CrossWorld’s crisis management team is working to address concerns such as communication, providing disaster relief funds, organizing people to help, etc.
You can help too. To make a fanancial gift to “Haiti Relief” please click here for an opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus in this desperate situation.
It was some years ago that I first stepped foot in Haiti—that utterly impoverished nation a few hundred miles southeast of Florida and once known, in its heyday, as the Pearl of the Caribbean. I was with one of my best friends, and while there developed still more abiding friendships. I couldn’t help it. Despite the poverty and desperation Haitians are a beautiful and proud people.
And they desperately need the hope of Jesus Christ.
Already I’ve been asked, “Why does God allow such things to happen?” Is it because of what the iconic Pat Robertson said—that same Pat Robertson who somehow managed early in his life to not grab hold of the value of tact? Can all of the pain in Haiti right now be reduced to the mere rubble of Satanism, as he suggested in the hours following the quake?
Is it because God is trying to get everyone’s attention? “No one is paying heed to me right now so I’ll shake them to their core to see if they notice me?”
Is it because God is angry at American consumerism and self-absorption so rampant and so close in proximity to such profound poverty and chaos? He was determined to get our attention, to cause us to notice the poor little nation just beyond the sands of Florida?
Is it one more puzzle piece falling on the eschatological table, a reminder of those words from Jesus in Mark 13:8, in which he declared of the end that “there will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains”?
Here is a resounding theological assessment for us to consider; an assessment rooted in years of theological studies, a bachelor degree, a masters degree, a doctoral degree, years of pastoral leadership, et cetera. It is an assessment that is as profound as the science behind the earth’s wild movement or the cry from a child in the midst of the rubble:
I don’t know why God allows such things to happen.
And anyone who has it all figured out is lying to you, desperate perhaps to put forward the perception of theological acumen in the face of circumstances that really have no meaningful answers. This is why Pat Robertson needs to keep his mouth shut. And it is why I do too, for in the end I have no idea why God seems to allow such catastrophe to fall upon an already hurting people.
But what I do know is that once again it provides a clarion call to love the helpless, and in so doing demonstrate the beautiful mercies of God. It’s the same call that rides the crest of the tsunami or howls in the wind of Katrina. It’s the same call that motivates doctors to work on cleft palates in Nigeria or an older couple to adopt a crack baby. The reality is we live in a desperate, broken world succumbing daily to the awful effects of depravity, and truly this is a dilemma for time and space that we humans have brought upon ourselves because of sin; a dilemma that jolts the bowels of the earth, causes cancer to spread, fuels poverty, makes the heart stop beating, and empowers leaders toward cruelties beyond imagination.
But in the midst of all of this, when we wonder where God is and what he is up to, we need look no further than the tired, gloved hands from Fargo, North Dakota, that are digging through the mess of downtown New Orleans. We need look no further than the nursing student from Ames, Iowa, holding a South African baby who has AIDS. We need look no further than the Vietnamese girl from the orphanage who now has a mom and dad to cling to and siblings to befriend. And we need look no further than the missionary who lives among the newly fallen rubble of Pétionville, Haiti, who stands among his Haitian friends and boldly declares “I’m not leaving because this is my people, these are my brothers, these are my sisters, this is my home, ruined as it might be.”
When we stand on such front lines offering cold cups of water to thirsty bodies, we employ the common grace of One who is ever-present and whose heart is grieved by the pain. And when we who follow Christ do such things, we whose spiritual station is so markedly different from others so well-meaning, we display Jesus himself in very raw terms, who through us is beckoning a broken world to come directly to him for rest (cp. Matthew 11:28).
I may not know why the earth moved. But I know that God is right there in the midst of it with nail-pierced hands outstretched and full of compassion and love.