On Tuesday, January 12, 2010, the world met with a catastrophe of major proportions: an earthquake registering 7.0 on the Richter scale hit Haiti 6 miles underground, with its epicenter being located approximately 10 miles southwest of Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince (U.S. Geological Survey). Though there was a significant loss of life in the initial moments, there is still fear that the number will increase due to lack of medical attention and relief workers’ inability to distribute food and water in a way that guarantees that everyone will receive. It is a devastating event for Haitians who live on the island and to those who have family and friends there. In fact, it is horrific to anyone who cares about human beings. As a Christian and a Haitian, there are important reflections to be made concerning this event, reflections that should also involve action.
There is more than one way that you can help. For those that are able to do so financially, I call upon you to open your pockets and give cheerfully, “for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7, NIV). The money that you give will go towards fulfilling the words of Jesus, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was sick and you looked after me” (Matt. 25:35, 37). Those who perform such actions are the sheep that will be on His right side when He comes (Matt. 25:31-34). The actions are depicted as if done to Jesus Himself: “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matt. 25:40).
If you’re unable to do anything financially, you can still help. God is still in the business of answering prayers (1 Pet. 3:12). Even if you don’t know how to utter a majestic prayer like one of those eloquent speakers in your congregation, there is no need to worry. The Spirit is able to take your prayers, as He does for the eloquent speakers, and intercede (Rom. 8:26-27). So pray that those who have lost loved ones may be comforted; that those who are rescued may find food, medicine and water; and finally, pray that living conditions improve and that the survivors are able to get back on their feet.
A Christian cannot go past this event without noting that it has eschatological significance. Though I may be viewed as a pessimist for even bringing end-time significance into focus during this time (as my friend pointed out clearly in his sermon last Sabbath), it is true that the Bible says that there will be “famines and earthquakes in various places” (Matt. 24:7, Luke 21:11). These are to happen before the second coming of Christ, but they are only the beginning (Matt. 24:8). Nothing guarantees that Haiti will be fixed, only God knows. I pray that it will be fixed and that more people will get the opportunity to choose Jesus Christ as their personal savior before the world get worst (it will). We see the hand of God in the recovery efforts and in the experiences of the survivors. He is active. I dare ask, are we ready for what’s coming? If it’s this bad now, how bad will it get later?
If you learned the lesson of the fig tree, you will recognize that the earthquake in Haiti is a sign of the coming of summer—the eschaton (Matt. 24:32, 33). Jesus is coming and He is right at the door. In all our praying and helping, let us not forget that these things were predicted and that we need to announce to the world that the heavens will open one day to reveal not only a revelation from God, but that God Himself is also that revelation.
Culture of Preparedness
What does this earthquake call for? A lifestyle of preparedness—a lifestyle that keeps you in constant communication with God. If this is not a wake-up call, then I don’t know what else is. If we are alive now and are able to evaluate where our relationship with God has been going, then we should do what is necessary. Join with me as I call on the name of Jesus to save me. Yes, God wants to save us, whether we be Haitians, Americans, Jamaicans, etc, He wants to save. “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts,” but join Christ and “hold firmly till the end” (Heb. 3:15, 14).
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