So, Whose Test Is This?

By Francis Frangipane

I think most of us do not grasp the degree of suffering and devastation that has hit Haiti. We think because the front-page news about Haiti has diminished that Haiti's need has also diminished, but it has not. The urgency of people being buried alive has been replaced with the urgency of a million and a half people without homes or shelter.

To put this disaster into perspective, recall the terrifying Sumatran tsunami that killed 230,000 people in December 2004. Eighteen nations were affected. In contrast, the Haitian earthquake killed approximately the same number of people as the Asian tsunami, but the death toll was focused primarily in one city in the most impoverished nation in the western hemisphere! Nearly everyone in Port-au-Prince has lost a family member, friends or neighbors. Many have lost several loved ones. Approximately one-fourth of the city died. The collective burden upon the Haitian people is without parallel.

Let Compassion Grow
Some people familiar with Haiti's worship of elemental spirits (in voodoo) have concluded Haiti has only itself to blame for its catastrophe. This is a convenient analysis. For once we determine that this disaster is the fault of its victims, an icy veneer begins to form over our heart. We feel detached from their suffering, delivered from the discomforting demands of mercy.

But God isn't looking at who's responsible as much as who is able to respond in the compassion of Christ. And this isn't so much about God testing Haiti as much as He is testing us, His church. How we respond, how we give, how we pray or sacrifice to see this nation redeemed has the full attention of the Lord's eyes. He has not blessed us with so much so we can hoard our wealth, but so we can give to help others.

This is our test. God has opened wide doors to minister in Haiti. Anyone who has wanted an opportunity to serve and make a difference, here is your chance. There is no competition here, no "voodoo aid agencies" helping the hungry or homeless in Haiti, no Muslim outreaches lending a hand. Those helping are either from secular agencies sent from a couple dozen nations or they are members of hundreds of Christian outreaches. Our friends on the ground are feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and giving shelter to the homeless - and they are speaking the word of God to the newly saved Haitians.

The people in Haiti could not be more desperate or more open to the love of Christ. Remember Jesus' words: "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few" (Luke 10:2). He said to pray for the laborers to be sent out, and this is my daily prayer, "Lord of the Harvest, send forth Your anointed laborers, those whom You've raised up, those who simply want to show the love of Jesus, who know in their hearts that You have put Your compassion in their hearts."

I'm going to keep asking you to remember Haiti in prayer. You will continue to hear me urging Christians to take a week or two, or a year, and get involved whenever possible in Haiti's renewal. I'm going to not stop asking pastors to send teams to serve the needs in Haiti and to also go there themselves. Of course, let us continue giving to Christian aid organizations that are already functioning on the ground in Haiti, and let us give sacrificially and with vision.

Haiti is our test. How we respond to Haiti's need, to its outstretched hands, will be a determining factor concerning how God will respond to our outstretched hands in our time of need. Yes, miracles and revivals are breaking out, as we mentioned last week, and certainly God has a better future planned for the people of Haiti. But the test we must be concerned about isn't for the Haitians; God is testing us.

Opportinity to give:

World Vision Haiti donate page

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