Haiti; Hope, God’s love in the Midst of the rubble

As I sat in Sunday school, and all through the service at church today, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of God’s love, God’s grace, God’s faithfulness. The image that keeps resounding in my mind is one from a video clip CNN did of life in the tent cities that have sprung up all around Port Au Prince…an image of a 13 year old girl hugging her Bible as she says ” I am not afraid, no I am not afraid because God is with me”

This has stuck with me for many reasons…the cry of my heart “Lord give me the faith of a child” ….another prayer….Lord, help me to bring up my children to trust you to protect and guide them in life..

Many thoughts have crossed my mind since the quake struck….but the one resounding….repeating …constant thought is this…God IS there……in the midst of the rubble…the loss…the suffering…heartache and disaster….God IS there

Psalm 46: 1-3
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever present help in trouble,
Therefore we will not fear,
though the earth give way and mountains fall into the sea,
Though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.

Missionary groups like Double Harvest ( Double Harvest also has a facebook page which can be found Here ), Heart of God for Haiti , Elim Fellowship …groups who have had people on the ground since LONG before the quake hit…are now playing vital roles in ministering to Haiti’s physical needs….opening doors to feed the spiritual needs as well.

Matthew 9:37-38
The Harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the Harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His Harvest field.

2 Corinthians 4:8-9
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed but not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed.

The media has a history…a track record of looking for the negative…of focusing on the bad things…but the Haitian people are not making that easy for them. I has to smile as i watched one news reporter struggle to find words as a group of Haitians sang, and clapped and gave thanks to God behind him….the just of what he said was ” These people have lost loved ones, homes, everything, the poorest of the poor before the quake, now left with nothing, and yet they sing, they cling to their faith.” He was quick to follow that with something about but looting in mass proportions could still occur….with Hurricane Katrina…it was hard to find a positive media story…though I KNOW they existed….but with this disaster….the live interviews with survivors….the Haitian people are thanking God…..giving God the glory for the fact that they are alive….and they are doing it on CNN…..on LIVE television.

As I have spent the past week in prayer for a mission team of people i have known since childhood…who were in Haiti when the quake hit…all of whom are now home in the states….and as I now pray for my pastor, and for others I know….who are heading into Haiti…I have no doubt that God is in control. Please keep Alan Cross and the rest of the team from Helping Hands in your prayers this week…and Ann Bennette and the team from Elim Fellowship as well. May God use them in ways they can never imagine as they minister compassion and show His love to the people of Haiti. May they have a peace that passes ALL Understanding, and may God Protect them as they travel, and be with their families here at home.

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heartbreak over the crisis in Haiti

as we all know, on Tuesday, January 12,2010 a devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake shattered lives in Haiti. Since then, I have been brought to my knees in tears, praying as I watch story after heartbreaking story, picture after picture on the news.

When I first heard about the quake, my first thoughts went to my dear childhood friends…..the Tice Family, as their father, ….a man I have known all my life, one of my father’s close friends….is currently in Haiti on a mission trip with a group called Double Harvest . I called my parents, and started the prayer chain after finding out from Tom’s son, Craig that Tom and his mission team were about 30 minutes from the epi-center….on Weds I received an update from Craig that his father was ok, as was the rest of his team , though there was a lot of damage around them.

As I continued to pray for this mission team, and for all those many people hurting…suffering, I received another message, this time from a man who used to work on my father’s farm….someone I have always admired and respected, a dear friend….he was urgently seeking any news on some Haitians, and an orphanage and school in Port Au Prince,and wondered if I knew anyone who might be able to find out something. I added this request to my prayer list, and taking the photos that he had sent me, and the information given, began searching the internet….to no avail, for something…any news at all about the orphanages and schools seemed vague…no school names given.

Just when I was starting to get frustrated in my search, Glenn posted an update that the Pastor the rest of the staff were all alive….40 of the children had been killed, but 160 survived, though the school itself was completely destroyed. While my heart broke for those lost, I felt it leap for joy that many had survived.

even as I write this, I went to the Heart of God in Haiti website to check for an update, and am sitting here typing through tears…..
this is an excerpt from their latest update from Pastor Dicksent……(HG-Haiti Update: 2:30 PM 15-Jan-2010)
Dicksent is now ministering to over 5,000 people at the Canape Vert Amphitheatre (click here for Google Maps; you will need to zoom in to view the ampitheatre). It is absolutely amazing to us, and another indication that God is working through everything, that Dicksent and the children were scheduled to hold a “Jesus Jamboree” at this very same amphitheatre in December. The plans were changed at the last minute because of a conflict. However, he is now ministering to thousands just as he felt God had called him to do only a few short weeks ago. The impact he is having there is most probably far greater than he ever imagined. God is definitely using this precious servant for His glory!

He is using Psalm 46 to minister to the people; apparently there has been tremendous response as the people are seeking answers. We know that God has promised if we seek Him, He will be found. (Jeremiah 29:13)

I write all this for a few reasons…..one to say that due to the people mentioned above….this heartbreaking Catastrophe has been brought home to me on a level like “9-11” and Hurricaine Katrina were…I had faces I knew and loved there as well….in times of tragedy…at times…it can become a blur…but when it takes on a face of someone you know, it brings it close to home in a way that nothing else can…

another thing I have gotten from this…..is that God Has a plan….He ALWAYS does! He has HIS People in place …it is no mistake that they were there…in Haiti..before, and during this quake…..and that HE brought them through it. Psalm 23:4 states that even though I walk through the shadow of death I will fear no evil for you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me. We learned in Sunday school in a study of Psalm 23 that the promise here is that HE will be there….even through the darkest moments of our lives…HE will bring us THROUGH so that like Pastor Dicksent…in the midst of suffering, tragedy pain, disaster…we can show God’s Love.

I have spent the past few nights since the quake, unable to sleep…..in tears….praying, seeking God for how I can help, and I keep coming back to the orphanage and school…..I can’t get them out of my mind…Double Harvest as well. Please, if you feel led to do so….take a look at the links above, and please add these people to your prayer lists…and follow whatever God leads. Praying for The Lord’s Guidance myself, as I seek for what me and my family can do to help.
God bless you all