Eternal Disaster Relief

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“The earthquake scared me. Voodoo has been in my family but the government isn’t helping us. The only people giving aid are the Christian churches.”
Veronique Malot, a 24-year-old Port-au-Prince resident who joined an evangelical church days after the January 12 earthquake.

Source: Associated Press

This is the stuff the world never hears about the church. They report over and over again about all the scandals that occur but it is rare that a statement like this gets repeated by the AP. (Can we have a little applause for the AP! We rag on the media so much that when they do well we ought to say so.)

You’ve heard me say it in church but I am so amazed by what God does that I have to say it again — God takes situations like an earthquake, a tsunami or war — all things that we are horrified by and He steps into them bringing all kinds of healing and strengthens the church and brings people to Christ.

In his book, “The Church is Bigger than You Think” Patrick Johnstone sheds light on this exact matter. Look at what he says,

“Yet it is these traumatic events that have contributed to the harvest into God’s Kingdom. Some question whether a good God could exist if he “allows” such terrible things.” (pg 117)

“We will never see the whole picture this side of eternity, nor be able to give a logical reason for all of these events.” (pg 117)

Johnstone points out that Christ says in Matthew 24 that these things “must take place.”

“One fact has become clear to me in my gathering of information from around the world; the sound bites and the news flashes on our television screens do not tell the full story. God is doing an unprecedented work in our day. These mighty works are not in spite of the disasters, but even because of them.” (pg 118)

In this chapter, Johnstone highlights recent wars, famine, and natural disasters. He goes beyond the media coverage that we are so familiar with to revealed what God did after the cameras and journalists went home.

He closes the chapter with these words, “one day in eternity I am sure God will show us the full pattern of his working in history through the terrible events that have shaken our world.”

We go back again to Paul’s words in Romans 11:34, “”Who has known the mind of the Lord?” He is doing things we don’t understand and can’t see. So when we read the headlines, we can be assured that there is another story being written that we might not know of until eternity.

For more news about how God is at work in Haiti, check in on Rich Mears’s blog. The Mears family are CCC missionaries serving in Haiti.

Haiti Seven Weeks later

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222,570 dead.
604,000 moved out of Port-au-Prince.
1.3 million displaced and in need of shelter & aid.*

In addition to these numbers, 300,000 are estimated to be injured.

Time moves on and life has a way of accumulating around us putting distance between us and things or events that are significant. Don’t let that happen with Haiti.

*http://www.un.org/News/dh/infocus/haiti/haiti_quake_update.shtml

Five things about Haiti

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My mind is reeling with the sheer enormity of all that has happened in Haiti this week. This is five things I am thinking right now.

#1 — I know my God is in the middle of this and will use this to bring people to Himself. I don’t understand why He works this way. I don’t know how this will look in a month or a year from now. But my faith in Him is not shaken. I don’t understand, but I don’t doubt God in the midst of this.

#2 — I am overwhelmed as I see the pictures and hear the stories. I can’t begin to imagine what my friends there in Haiti are feeling and thinking. Even as I write this they have someone in their home they are trying to help. There was no room at the hospital so the man ended up at Rich and Carol’s home.

#3 — I took time to sit with my boys tonight and hug them. To tell them I loved them and was grateful that they were safe and healthy. I don’t think they understood why I was being so wierd. Maybe one day when they are older they’ll remember tonight and understand better.

#4 — I’m alive, healthy and have way more than I need. I feel ashamed for allowing my life to be so consumed with meaningless things and activities in light of people who have lost everything — and have done so with grace and dignity.

# 5 — The doctor in the tv just said a nickel’s worth of penicillin can save a life. It’s astonishing how little it takes to make a difference, even to save a life at times.

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