TO MY PARTNERS in MINISTRY
to the PEOPLE of HAITI
October 30, 2016
M A T T H E W 6 : 1 9 – 2 0
How quickly life can change! I have been worshiping at this same church for nearly sixteen years, but today my eyes welled up as I recalled the long and hard struggles of Pastor Israel Izidor in making this church and all other aspects of his ministry a reality. Now I was sitting in the remains of the church that had been such a source of joy. To the human eye, it would appear that all those hard years of sacrifice by Pastor Israel and his surviving family members had been utterly crushed into the ground.
Worship under the balcony!
View of the roof from the balcony!
The CROSS still stands!
Today, instead of being in a covered sanctuary facing a familiar pulpit, the congregation sat in pews that now face in the opposite direction and where the narthex now is the place where a lectern and musical instruments stand. The floor of the balcony serves as the only shelter from the sun and potential rain as the only remaining intact “roofing” in the church. The beautiful church garden is devoid of large shade trees, BUT the cross still stands. Worship can still happen even in the bleakest of circumstances. The God we worshiped before is the same God we worshiped today. We cannot stop giving Him the praise He deserves for the lives that were spared and for the help that is coming our way.
I could not help but reflect on Matthew 6:19,20 … “19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.”
Indeed our treasure is in Heaven, where earthquakes and hurricanes will no longer destroy and kill and where the pain and suffering of today’s life will be just a distant memory.
Following the worship service, I wandered around the church grounds to view what still remained. I continued to reflect on the many years that this place has been a part of my life. On my very first mission trip to LesCayes in 1997, we held an eyeglass clinic in the “hanger” style church that served as both church and school. It was the only structure (aside from a crude latrine) that was present on this piece of real estate. After testing people for eyeglasses, we used a large mango tree as a place for team members to sit in its shade to share the Good News of Jesus with the participants. All through the years, this particular mango tree has held a spiritual significance for me. Once again, God spared this particular tree. Although it has been stripped of many of its leaves, it still stands! I think of it as a symbol of the fact that through it all … God is still there! Things of this earth will fade in the glory of what awaits us in heaven.
The church/school ‘hanger” as it looked in 1997!
The “witness station” mango tree still stands!
Pastor Israel … your work was not in vain! People whose lives you touched with the Gospel of Christ continue to be an everlasting gift to the people of LesCayes. You indeed “stored up treasures in heaven” in for forms of sinners saved and disciples made! Well done thou good and faithful servant … your legacy continues!
Missionary to Haiti & the Dominican Republic Until next time, God willing …………