Paudler is one of two children my wife and I sponsor through Compassion Canada. Paudler lives in Haiti.
It has been more than a week since the devastation began in Haiti as the result of a 7.0 earthquake. I continue to be stunned and saddened by the reports I’m hearing—tens of thousands, possibly over a hundred thousand perished from this disaster.
I gave it a few days before I emailed Compassion Canada to see if there was any news on Paudler. The reply I received was prompt, but sobering, “we do not have any news about specific sponsor children”. Five thousand Haitian children are sponsored through Compassion.
The coverage of this disaster in the media has been extensive, to say the least, on topics ranging from the history of Haiti, to the logistical challenges of dispersing aid, to the strategies for rebuilding, to the role of God and faith. And since I am not a historian, a medical expert, or an engineer, I will confine my comments to the latter subject.
God is not absent from this disaster. He is not a helpless bi-stander. Jesus reminds us of the constant care of our Heavenly Father when He asks, “Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father” (Matthew 10:29). The disaster in Haiti did not catch God by surprise.
What shall we conclude then? Many are asking, “Why Haiti?”, “Does God hate Haiti?”. Very few of the answers to these questions I have come across have been helpful. One answer in particular, from a well-known televangelist, was outrageously insensitive. But I did come across one article written by Albert Mohler Jr. that I found to be both theologically sound and hope-inspiring.
(if God) hated Haiti, there would be no missionaries there; there would be no aid streaming to the nation; there would be no rescue efforts—there would be no hope.
The earthquake in Haiti, like every other earthly disaster, reminds us that the creation is groaning under the weight of sin and the judgment of God. This is true for every cell in our bodies, even as it is for the crust of the earth at every point in the globe. The entire cosmos is awaiting the revelation of the glory of the coming Lord. Creation cries out for the hope of New Creation.
In other words, the earthquake reminds us that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only real hope. The cross of Christ declares that Jesus loves Haiti—and the Haitian people are the objects of His love. Christ would have us show the Haitian nation His love, and share His Gospel. In the midst of this unspeakable tragedy…Christ’s people must do everything we can to alleviate the suffering, bind up the wounded, and comfort the grieving.
In the words of one of the Canadian missionaries, working on the front lines of medical relief in Haiti, “now is the body of Christ’s time to shine.”
As we continue to pray for the Haitian people—as I continue to pray for my sponsor child, Paudler, I’m reminded to also pray for the myriad of Christian missionaries in Haiti who haven’t left their post, and who continue to provide assistance and relief for those in need. To them I say, “Thank you for shining the light of Christ so brightly.”