Today we have a guest blogger, Kate Bushey. She has a heart for ministry, particularly for the people of Haiti. I've asked her to share with us a word of hope that relates not only to the Haitians, but to us as well.
On January 12, 2010 a magnitude 7.0 earthquake devastated the nation of Haiti. Maybe you remember this day, or maybe you don’t. I remember this day well because Haiti is, for some reason, like my second home. I have been fortunate enough to travel there twice on mission trips. Haiti is a third world country only an hour away by airplane, but I never knew how neglected this nation was until I spent some time there. In its glory days, Haiti was a popular vacation spot for rich people, but now there are few, if any rich people. I have not been to Haiti since the earthquake, but hope to return soon. After seeing the poverty when life was “normal” for them, I can only imagine the devastation that exists now.
Isaiah 61 seems especially poignant when thinking about Haiti. It says,
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.
4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.
5 Strangers will shepherd your flocks;
foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.
6 And you will be called priests of the LORD,
you will be named ministers of our God.
You will feed on the wealth of nations,
and in their riches you will boast.
7 Instead of your shame
you will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
you will rejoice in your inheritance.
And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,
and everlasting joy will be yours.
8 “For I, the LORD, love justice;
I hate robbery and wrongdoing.
In my faithfulness I will reward my people
and make an everlasting covenant with them.
9 Their descendants will be known among the nations
and their offspring among the peoples.
All who see them will acknowledge
that they are a people the LORD has blessed.”
10 I delight greatly in the LORD;
my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up
and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness
and praise spring up before all nations.
As Christians we have a great opportunity to go minister to the people of Haiti. After a traumatic experience like the earthquake, many Haitians may feel that life is more hopeless than ever before. We can do exactly as Isaiah 61 says, and proclaim good news to the poor, bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim freedom for the captives, and release for those stuck in darkness.
Ultimately, this good news that we can share is Jesus, but we can also help meet the physical needs of the people. Isaiah 61 also speaks to this. We can rebuild the ancient ruins, and restore the places that have been long devastated, those places that have been neglected for generations. It is time for Christians to rise up. We can be a catalyst for the Lord’s movement in and among the nation of Haiti.
I can imagine the Haitians are ready to receive their double portion of blessing from the Lord instead of the disgrace that has hindered them for generations. Many Haitians are looking for everlasting joy. The Lord loves justice and hates robbery and wrongdoing. I fear that the Lord is looking upon us—America, and maybe even the Western world as a whole, with anger and hatred because we have neglected this nation, and robbed this nation for so long.
Maybe you don’t feel a call to go to Haiti or help Haiti, and that is perfectly okay. Maybe something has been stolen from you; maybe you have been robbed and disgrace is ever present in your life. Maybe you are waiting for your double portion. Maybe you are imprisoned by chains that you cannot see, but they are still there. Hold fast!! There is hope, and there is healing waiting for you.