Ardent Cries

Posts Tagged ‘Haiti’

Service

February 26, 2010

Haiti, The Church, and the Sovereignty of God

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(By: Nick Kennicott)

I am still working through the thoughts and emotions that have dwelt inside of me after a week in Haiti. While my wife administered medical care, I was able to minister to hundreds of Haitians with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, most of them think they’ve heard it, think they know it, and think they believe it. The content of our conversations revealed something quite different. I will unpack what I mean by this in future posts – last Sunday I preached a sermon entitled “Haiti, The Church, and the Sovereignty of God”, so I will share some of my notes. For now, please take some time to watch the video I created to show our congregation a bit of what we experienced.

Haiti 2010

Miscellanious

January 27, 2010

Reformed Baptist Haiti Relief Efforts Video

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(By: Christopher Powell) For those of you following the relief efforts in Haiti, here is a recent video depicting the early stages of the relief effort:

Evangelism,Recommendation,Websites

January 20, 2010

Haiti and Man’s Most Important Need

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For updated information from the front lines of Gospel-driven relief efforts, please visit http://gbcpapillion.org/haiti/. Also, please consider making a donation to this cause via this link.

(REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)


(By David Giarrizzo)

As I watch the video footage streaming in from disaster-stricken Haiti and read about the terrible plight of its people, my heart breaks for them. As I write these words, morbid thoughts of dead and dying people flood my mind: men and women, infants and aged trapped beneath piles of rubble, striving to breathe, unable to move, completely helpless; many dead, many dying, and we pray still for many to be saved. I am reminded of the words of Job in Job 30:24-25

Yet does not one in a heap of ruins stretch out his hand,
and in his disaster cry for help?
Did not I weep for him whose day was hard?
Was not my soul grieved for the needy?”


A Planet in Peril

A simple web search of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, using Google Maps shows a world of devastation: cracks in the earth, buildings broken and crumbled, shipment containers in the bay—all visible signs of a powerful quake beneath an unstable island. As a society we have come up with terms for these kinds of events: “natural disasters” or “Mother Nature’s fury” or even, “the effects of Global Warming.” But as believers, we have a different understanding of events like the earthquake in Haiti.

We have all heard the news media call Earth, “a planet in peril.” Sadly, this is a true statement; however not in a geological sense, but a spiritual one. Earthquakes, wildfires, hurricanes, tornados, tsunamis: these are the effects of the Fall. Disasters are not natural because death is not natural. Death came with the fall of Adam in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3. We know from Romans 5:12 that death came as a consequence of sin. Therefore, the death of men—in any quantity, small or large—should remind us as sons of Adam and daughters of Eve that we are all sinners in need of salvation, dead men in need of eternal life (Romans 3:23). The Bible clearly teaches that natural men who are dead in their trespasses and sin are under the holy condemnation of the Almighty God and are merely vessels of His wrath (Romans 1:18; 2:5, 8, 9; 9:22). Thus, this world is indeed a planet in peril!

Enter the Gospel of Christ.

What an analogy we are presented with, aren’t we?—Helpless people trapped in dire situations while rescuers seek to help them out of their present conditions with God all the while directing the rescuers’ efforts. This sounds like Gospel missions!

There is only one hope for dead sinners; it is Jesus Christ. Just as Lazarus would have never walked out of his tomb but for the divine power of God calling him out (John 11), so sinful man will never know life eternal without the power of God effectually drawing him out of his sinful condition, giving him a new heart, and breathing new life into him. Because Christ is the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25), spiritually dead men have hope.


Our Part

As believers, we have a responsibility to take the Good News to all people (Mark 16:15). If Christ is the answer to the most basic problem of man (sin), then those of us who have been bought by Christ’s blood have an obligation tell others about our Savior. This is the best thing any of us can do when earthquakes and hurricanes come. Let us point people to the cross of Christ for their salvation.

We pray for the people in Port-au-Prince and elsewhere in Haiti, for God to comfort the mourning and call sinners to repentance. We pray for the Lord to send teams of rescuers to find and save those who still survive. We pray for their safety as they travel to Haiti to sift through the rubble, as they seek the living, heal the hurting, and bury the dead. We pray that the Lord will give them strength and stamina and great success in their mission. And most importantly, we pray for the Gospel to go forth in Haiti and throughout the rest of the world through Haiti’s calamity. May we as disciples of the one-and-only Messiah be faithful to preach the truth with hearts full of loving concern for sinners destined for Hell.

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
(Romans 10:17)

While the unbelieving world observes a disaster such as this and asks “What?” and “How?” and “Why?”, let us boldly acknowledge the sovereignty of God in the midst of a saddened and confused society (Amos 3:6). Let us acknowledge all of the attributes of God as we seek to provide answers for the wondering, searching masses of people looking for answers to the world’s problems. As Christians we have the answers through Jesus Christ and the written Word (2 Timothy 3:16). May we humbly and diligently share the love of God and the mercy of Christ and the comfort of the Holy Spirit to the lost and dying world.


For related thoughts on the earthquake in Haiti, see these recent posts.


Follow this link to donate to a Gospel-driven relief effort based in the Dominican Republic, Haiti’s neighbor.


If you have serious questions about God and His role in the earthquake in Haiti, please take a moment to read this helpful article by Rev. Albert Mohler.


Additionally, let us join together as the universal Body of Christ and seek the Lord in prayer on behalf of the people of this hurting country. May many come to know Christ through this catastrophe.


Christian Living,Recommendation,Websites

January 19, 2010

How you can help provide Gospel Relief to Haiti

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Dear Friends,

As we all know by now a week ago today, Tuesday, January 12th, at 4:53 PM local time a catastrophic earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 on the Richter scale struck the island nation of Haiti just outside the capital of Port-au-Prince. Initial Red Cross estimates put the number of dead at 45,000, while government figures now put the death toll near 200,000. The death toll is believed to be so high because the quake struck a very poor area in a country with poor building standards. By comparison, a similar magnitude earthquake measuring 6.7 on the Richter Scale hit Los Angelos, California in 1994 resulting in a death toll of 72.

 

As we know there are many efforts already to help the Haitian people at this time of devastation. While donations to the Red Cross and other relief agencies are helpful, it is also helpful to actually know and support fellow Christians and local churches who are on the ground doing relief work in Christ’s name. ARBCA church, Grace Baptist Church of Papillion, NE, where the 2009 ARBCA General Assembly was held, has Reformed Baptist church contacts in Haiti’s neighboring country, the Dominican Republic who are setting up aid stations and providing direct relief in the most crucial areas. The DR brothers that presented at the General Assembly are the ones who are helping to coordinate and deliver the local relief. Grace Baptist has set up a website where you can donate online using Paypal to support their efforts. Please pray for Pastor Lou Sloger and the church in Nebraska as they coordinate this collection effort stateside. The brothers from the DR have already made trips inside Haiti and have begun delivering relief. Sadly, preliminary reports indicate that there are many pastors missing or dead and church buildings destroyed, some with the people still inside. This is the latest update as of this evening:

 

There is a coordinated effort with 7 churches in the Dominican Republic setting up 4 stations on the border between Dominican Republic and Haiti, with each station being stocked with food, water and supplies. A group of 20 departed Monday to set up and man these stations, then 25 will depart Thursday and stay through Monday. This week forward, there will then be a constant flow in and out as provisions come in. This is the plan for the immediate future and we will continue to provide regular updates here, and will also provide an accounting to anyone who is involved in giving. Please continue to pray as this will be a very long, difficult, and slow process.

 

The intial supplies for the first trip, alone, included the following:

 

* 30 Cots (Foldable Beds)
* 100 Thin matresses
* 1 Electricity Generator 2.5 kw
* 2 Electricity Generator 1.0 kw
* 1 Extension cords, light bulbs, etc…
* 10 Fuel Containers (5 gal)
* 1000 One thousand Disposable plates and spoons
* 100 Gallons of Gasoline
* 5 Tents
* Medical supplies
* Transportation
* Food

 

Total for these supplies was approximately $20,355 U.S. Dollars. Online giving is now enabled through this site. You may, alternatively, submit a check payable to Grace Baptist Church of Papillion. Please clearly mark in the memo that the same is for “Haiti.

 

There is more information about volunteering to help and links for online donation on the website or you can click the image below to make a donation through the account set up by Grace Baptist Church, Papillion, NE.

 

Theology,Theology Proper

January 18, 2010

Haiti, Earthquakes, and the Sovereignty of God

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(By: Chad Bennett)

In light of the recent earthquake in Haiti it seems necessary to reflect on the sovereignty of God. Our hearts are broken for the many people who have died and the many more who have lost their homes. In thinking of these things the other day I was reminded of a discussion I had several years ago in a class at the school at which I teach. We were discussing hurricane Katrina and I had a student who adamantly argued that God could have nothing to do with the devastation and destruction brought by a hurricane. In all fairness I believe this student was concerned with the very character of God. If God is good how can he do something so evil? I believe the question terrified him. Far more terrifying to me was the thought of living in a world in which God was not in control.

For devotion that day I had read a “Taste and See” article by John Piper entitled “Was Katrina Intelligent Design?“In the article Piper profoundly dealt with the true nature of the problem of evil; “let us put our hands on our mouths and weep both for the perishing and for ourselves who will soon follow. Whatever judgment has fallen, it is we who deserve it—all of us. And whatever mercy is mingled with judgment in New Orleans neither we nor they deserve.

God sent Jesus Christ into the world to save sinners. He did not suffer massive shame and pain because Americans are pretty good people. The magnitude of Christ’s suffering is owing to how deeply we deserve Katrina—all of us.

Our guilt in the face of Katrina is not that we can’t see the intelligence in God’s design, but that we can’t see arrogance in our own heart. God will always be guilty of high crimes for those who think they’ve never committed any. ”

What happened in Haiti is not owing to them being worse than any of us, we all deserve God’s judgment. In our arrogance we presume God owes us an explanation. Recently I read fellow ARBCA pastor Donny Martin quoted as saying the only word that should ever follow the phrase “God owes me …” is “hell.”

As our hearts go out to those who are suffering we are reminded of our own sin and taught experientially to hold fast to our sovereign God who works even these things for good. In a different article Piper gives five Biblical reasons for earthquakes. We will never know the many reasons God has in any action but these five give us something to contemplate and meditate on:

“Yet there are possible purposes revealed in the Bible that we may pray will come to pass.

  1. The end-time earthquakes in the book of Revelation (see the footnote) are meant as calls to repentance to warn people who deny Jesus Christ that a day is coming when unbelievers will cry to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb” (Revelation 6:16).
  2. The end-time earthquakes in Matthew 24:7-8 are meant to be interpreted as “the beginning of the birth pangs.” That is, they are a wake-up call to this oblivious world that God’s kingdom will soon be born; so be alert and prepare to meet Jesus Christ.
  3. God’s unilateral taking of thousands of lives is a loud declaration that “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away” (Job 1:21). The message for all the world is that life is a loan from God (Luke 12:20) and belongs to him. He creates it and gives it and takes it according to his own will and owes us nothing. He has a right to children (2 Samuel 12:15) and to the aged (Luke 2:29). It is a great gift to learn this truth and dedicate our lives to their true owner rather than defraud him till it is too late.
  4. The power felt in an earthquake reveals the fearful magnificence of God. This is a great gift since “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 111:10). Most of the world does not fear the Lord and therefore lacks saving wisdom.
  5. When the earth shakes under your feet there is a dramatic sense that there is no place to flee. In most disasters the earth is the one thing that stands firm when wind and flood are raging. But where do you turn when the earth itself is unsafe? Answer: God.”

Soli Deo Gloria