The Church Rising In God's HandsRich Stigall
Let us start with a word of thanks. This ministry is a family, an ever growing family. Orphaned children the world leaves behind are the apples of our eyes. In our short history, we’ve been through much together. But nothing like January 12, 2010. As horrible as that day was, your generosity and grace overwhelmed all sadness. For that and for so many here in Haiti, we say “thank you.” Truly, truly we can say that God’s promises are true and trustworthy. No matter what.
This afternoon at 4:53 Haiti time, around 2,000 of us will pause for a moment of silence at Source de la Grace in Port-au-Prince. This is Moise Vaval’s rebuilt home church.
One year ago at 4:53 pm, the earthquake totaled this little church in one of the poorest areas of Port-au-Prince. And a nearby school pancaked, taking the life of Jean-Mark Vaval at the same time as 200,000 plus others in Haiti. A year later, the church has rebuilt a new school and its house of worship – bigger, stronger, and full of God’s presence. Today the church members will dedicate this church. And at 4:53 pm, we will pause. Not for a moment of sadness for Jean-Mark and so many others. But for a moment to celebrate life in Christ Jesus. This church has never stopped lifting praise. Today will be no exception.
And today in Les Cayes, the Tour d’Haiti crew will complete their extraordinary ride to enjoy the splendor of Haiti. 200 miles in 4 days. Many thanks to El Shaddai Ministries International, one of our key Haitian partners, for your work and great support of the Tour. Riding through Haiti and giving out children’s bikes, finding beauty and joy right here in Haiti, the Tour fittingly concludes today. The cyclists will return to Port-au-Prince to join us at Source de la Grace.
Today you’ll see lots of different stories. You’ll see guilt pieces, screaming that if the donor world would just give more aid then “we” can fix Haiti. You’ll see uplifting pieces; anecdotal stories of heroism and miraculous survival. You’ll see analysis pieces, detailing what’s wrong with Haiti. And you’ll see election pieces, decrying Haiti’s latest election woes. All of these will portray a country on life support, in dire need of the world to come save it.
Well that’s not the true story. There’s a great paradox here. The world sees deep economic poverty. But we come here and experience radical spiritual prosperity. The world sees dubious leaders whom you always hear about. But we come here and meet real grassroots leaders, loving leaders, unquestionable leaders whom you’ll never hear about. The world reads media stories describing Haiti’s people like helpless animals. But we come here and meet people of extraordinary heart, love and vision.
Maybe we see a different Haiti because of where we look. We’ve spent our time in Haiti’s local churches caring for orphaned and abandoned children. In the local church, where no one is looking for government or material prosperity to deliver them. In the local church, where the leaders want to honor the Church’s social justice duties, imposed by our Lord, but outsourced to the government in Haiti and throughout the world for far too long. In the local church, where unconditional, sacrificial love in the name of Jesus is supposed to be our DNA.
Maybe there’s a Haiti rising that CNN doesn’t see.
Maybe there’s more among the poor than meets the eye.
Maybe today is not a day about death or falling down one year ago. Maybe, just maybe, today is a day about life and the Church rising in the world right where our Lord would choose among the poor.
We’re linking the 60 Minutes story that CBS ran on Moise Vaval and The Global Orphan Project after the earthquake. Take 10 minutes to watch and listen. Listen to what Moise said during that time of great trial.
Scott Pelley: Maybe it was to keep his mind occupied, but Vaval was working night and day. He traveled to neighboring islands to check on orphans. And he preached to his own congregation amid the rubble of his broken church. He told us, no matter what happened to Jean-Mark, his son was in the Hands of God.
Moise: I never worry about tomorrow. Never. Tomorrow will be good. Because it’s in God’s hands.
Tomorrow is now today. Moise is right. Today will be good. Because it is in God’s hands.