Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hope for Haiti

The worst earthquake in 200 years is much worse since Haiti is such a poverty-stricken and voodoo-drenched culture. The poorest country in the Caribbean, Haiti’s origin is shrouded in occult mystery. When seeking freedom from the French, rebel leaders promised Satan that if he’d help them shake off their political shackles, the country would be given over to the Devil. For the most part, it has been under his dreadful sway. Now another foe, the crippled earth itself has become its immediate foe.

Except for grueling and difficult Christian missions work, the country would be totally lost. It has been largely lost politically, and now it is hugely lost physically as millions are homeless and untold thousands dead, injured or destitute.

Pray that rescuers arrive swiftly, that Christian missions stands in the forefront of recovery, distributing aid and rebuilding and sharing God’s truth, and that all Haitians accept that spiritual refuge in Christ is the ultimate answer for souls in danger of death and hell.

No human is promised another day on earth. Proverbs 27:1 cautions, "Do not boast about tomorrow, For you do not know what a day may bring forth." Departure may come with a slow measured approach, as in lingering illness, or it may arrive swiftly, unwelcome and unannounced as it did in Haiti.

Countless missionaries have preached eternal readiness in Christ, and those who responded were prepared to die or ready to survive and live to rescue and rebuild. Personal believers in Christ’s saving death and resurrection who are now gone were transported instantly to Heaven as II Corinthians 5:8 comforts: "We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord."

Even Christians who survived can weather the earthquake storm. Missionaries report that believers sang in the streets, praising God for their deliverance and summoning needed strength. It is so appropriate as Job 35:10 speaks of "…God my Maker, Who gives songs in the night." Psalm 32:6 & 7 adds, "For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You. In a time when You may be found; Surely in a flood of great waters They shall not come near him. You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance."

Spiritualizing may seem of little comfort in so severe a catastrophe, but the old song by A. A. Luther says it well. "Jesus never fails, Jesus never fails. Heaven and earth may pass away, but Jesus never fails."

Last year, Luther’s daughter Ann Palmer told me a wonderful story. Years ago, her pastor father gathered his family around the supper table to tell them that they had no money to buy necessities, and they needed $100. A knock came at the door. A woman in a distant state had been blessed by Luther’s song and had sent someone to find the author and give him $100. Pastor Luther learned a great lesson of trust many years after he wrote those touching words.

Pray for Haiti that spiritual light will pierce the darkness. Even if Haiti recovers from earthly disaster, eternity is till ahead. The troubled people of Haiti need a childlike trust in this time of gigantic disaster. In the words of the hymn "Great Is Thy Faithfulness," they need "help for today and bright hope for tomorrow, blessing all mine with ten thousand beside. … All I have needed, thy hand hath provided, Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me."

Dave Virkler

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