Please take the time to read my dear friend's most recent note (below) regarding her time in Haiti this past June where she was able to share the love of Christ with the Haitian people through her physical therapy expertise.
“Can Haiti Be Saved?” This is the title of an article in Relevant Magazine and one of the frequent questions I have been asked since returning from Port Au Prince. Another question I have been asked repeatedly is, “Do you really think there is any hope for Haiti?”
My answer to both of these questions has been the same. Haiti needs Jesus.
I understand the concern in the questions because Haiti is a mess. It is a third world country with some of the most extreme poverty, disease and violence imaginable. This of course was the case well before the devastation of the earthquake occurred. My experience in Haiti was that the Lord had mobilized his servants and people were spreading the love and compassion of Christ. The airport in Port Au Prince was packed full of mission teams from all over the world, but the truth of the matter is Haiti needs Jesus.
I had lunch with a friend a few weeks back that is preparing to go to Jacmel, Haiti in October. She is a nurse and has an amazing heart for Haiti. Her passion is to bring health care to the regions of Haiti that don’t have access to medicine and to educate them on how to sustain basic health needs. As I told her of my experience and the things we gave to the people the Lord put in front of us she asked me several questions; “ What now? What will they do when they run out of those medicines? How will they ever sustain what you have given them? I understand this frustration because I definitely had a moment of discouragement when our plane left Haitian soil. I wondered, How can it ever be enough? There is still so much pain and suffering that I left feeling defeated. But I had to remind myself that I cannot save Haiti. Only Jesus can save Haiti.
“Can Haiti Be Saved?” was actually a great article and the more I read the more peace I felt. Statistics show that more people have given their life to Christ since the earthquake than in 2 strong years of evangelism. Now this may seem discouraging to missionaries but I felt relief. The medicines and hygiene products will run out and the braces I gave will eventually wear out. The new tarp we placed over Antonio’s shanty will eventually develop holes and allow the rain to invade his sleep again. In fact, all things in this world will fade and the good work that I did won’t matter anymore, but the salvation that Jesus brings can save Haiti. He is their only hope. He is our only hope.
I have been challenged to see the world a little differently since returning from Port Au Prince, Haiti. I have been convicted of my own heart placing hope in things that fade. Haiti was a sweet awakening of my spirit because I walked so closely with Jesus and saw the world with different eyes. The only difference here in Nashville, Tennessee is me. As I look around me, I don’t see a huge difference between Nashville and Haiti. The circumstances are different, but the spiritual condition is much the same. In a land where most people are educated, comfortable, and wealthy my fear is that we will not realize that we even need a savior. Haiti was a picture of the most broken world I can imagine. It was obvious the Haitian people need the saving grace of Jesus Christ and I think that is why people are now placing their hope in the Lord. But what about us, do we even see how broken our lives are in our comfortable mess? Do we realize that our hope tends to gravitate toward the things that fade?
I guess my question is, “Can Nashville be saved?” And the answer is Jesus.
- By Tabitha Harder