Healing Bodies and Hearts in Haiti
January 7, 2011 - It’s been almost exactly a year since a 7.0 earthquake destroyed cities and lives in Haiti. From Port-au-Prince to the epicenter of the quake along the western edge of the coastline in the Ouest department, the destruction was devastating. In recent months, this beleaguered nation has also been hit with a hurricane and a cholera epidemic that is claiming lives at an alarming rate.
I want to be used as a living sacrifice. Salvation is free. My faith is in God. I stand completely on his word. His promises keep me safe.
by Jeremy Hunt
But in the midst of the death and disease, the will of the Haitian people remains strong. They are incredibly resilient and many are putting their faith in God to save and protect them. To that end, approximately 500 churches invited the BGEA to come to Port-au-Prince for a Franklin Graham Festival this weekend. Of course, if you've been following the work of the BGEA in Haiti over the past year, you know that we've been in Haiti ever since the earthquake first hit. Along with our sister organization, Samaritan's Purse, we've been here to share the spiritual and physical love of Jesus in a very real way with the Haitians.
I saw this in action as I spent time with Rapid Response Team chaplains when they visited the Samaritan's Purse cholera clinic in Cité Soleil (one of the poorest areas of Haiti). I first talked with team leaders Phil and Pam Rhodes. The Rhodes have been in Haiti multiple times since last year. Pam shared that she sees the Lord moving in ways here that you rarely see back home. Perhaps because the need is greater here, but she also observed that their prayers here have a greater depth and sense of urgency. Phil noted that, as their ministry has transitioned into meeting with cholera patients, they've seen "Lazuruses and Lazurites: men and women who are on the verge of death, brought back to life through medical care and fervent prayer."
One of the new chaplains is a young man named Topher, a computer programmer from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Not only is this his first deployment, but it's also his first time in Haiti. Talk about jumping feet first into the fire! Topher said that he volunteered because "God wants us to serve and this was an opportunity to do that. I want to show God's love to the world." The beautiful thing about the RRT program is that your background doesn't matter. If you have a willing heart to serve and live out the heart of Jesus, they will train and equip you with the tools to reach those in crisis situations.
Joseph, a chaplain from Charlotte, North Carolina has seen his fair share of RRT deployments thus far, but nothing like what he’s witnessed in Haiti. "It's nothing like I've ever experienced. I can relate to an outhouse because I grew up like that, but I can't relate to the fullness of it." But he is unwavering in his faith in the midst of the precarious nature of life in Haiti: "I want to be used as a living sacrifice. Salvation is free. My faith is in God. I stand completely on his word. His promises keep me safe."
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These incredible men and women are working hand-in-hand with equally amazing staff at Samaritan's Purse to meet spiritual and physical needs. Our teams have been here for a year and their work will continue for the foreseeable future. You can be a part of the celebration of what God is doing here in Haiti by checking out our live web broadcast of the Franklin Graham Festival of Hope this Sunday at 1:30 p.m. ET. You can watch right here: http://www.BillyGraham.org/HaitiLive. You'll even be able chat live with other viewers from around the globe while watching. Join us and together we'll see what God has in store for this beautiful nation.