The dust has settled in Port-au-Prince. The earth is quiet; the shaking has stopped; the cries of the crushed and trapped are silent. Most news reporters have gathered up their cameras and microphones and moved on. An island nation, devastated by massive tremors, has become yesterday’s news. Haiti has once again become a place of little interest in a culture focused on the latest story.
But among the ruins of a once-bustling city, people still mourn. Children orphaned by shifting slabs of concrete cry themselves to sleep in loneliness and hunger. Wives whose husbands’ bodies have never been located or identified wonder and worry about the future. For the people of Haiti, the events of Jan. 12 have altered their lives forever.
Yet Haiti is not alone. Walking among the ruins are dedicated men and women who, in the name of Jesus Christ, have remained. While much of the world may have turned its attention to other matters, these Kingdom workers are touching lives with the love of God and a cup of cold water.
Among them are those who were already at work in Haiti long before the ground began to shake and buildings toppled. Before the world’s attention turned toward this island of pain and poverty, the Christian Reformed Church was already working to transform lives through the community development programs of the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC). Christian Reformed World Missions was proclaiming the love and grace of Jesus Christ to people hardened by poverty and desperate for hope. Back to God Ministries International was sharing God’s story and God’s love through media ministry.
For the Christian Reformed Church, Haiti is not just a place devastated by an earthquake. It is a place filled with men, women, and children who need Jesus.
In the midst of the earthquake’s carnage, the light shines. The healing power of Jesus and his message—his good news—is the bedrock upon which people can and will rebuild their lives. Life will never be the same for those who lived through the events of January 2010, but through the efforts of those who proclaim a risen Lord, lives and communities will be transformed.
And this, dear readers, is where you and I can play a role. I am grateful for the prayers and the dollars that have poured from Christian Reformed congregations across North America. The response has been overwhelming. God is using your prayers and resources to rebuild lives, bring hope, and deliver comfort to thousands.
Yet there is much to be done. The people of Haiti are not alone in their needs. Around the world, individuals, families, communities, even entire nations need to hear God’s message of hope.
Often, amid the day-to-day pressures of my work, I forget what really matters. My tendency toward self prevents me from hearing the call of Jesus to “make disciples.” Sadly, it sometimes takes events like Haiti’s earthquake to get my attention—to remind me what is really important.
While we mourn the loss of life, while we reflect on these events, while we seek ways to respond, I invite you—together with all of your brothers and sisters in the Christian Reformed Church—to take this tragedy as an opportunity to renew your commitment to the worldwide proclamation of the gospel.