Greetings from the Church in Haiti
August 12, 2007
I bring you greetings from the Revival Center of Mariani, a mission church, located within the gates of the Christian Haitian Outreach compound, in Carrefour, a suburb of Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
It is a fervent church; it is a suffering church. The cry of their heart is Habakkuk 3: 17-18:
Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will be joyful in God my Savior.
Day by day by day, I heard this message: in the early morning prayer meetings, in the Sunday services, in the Tuesday and Friday evening services:
“When there is food on the table, we will serve God; when there is nothing on the table, we will serve God.”
“Even while we are going through hard times, let us announce the way of the Lord.”
“If we meditate on God's Word; then, even if we have nothing to eat, we do have food.”
I can't forget the little girl dressed in her Sunday best, smiling at me with as much love in her eyes as I have ever seen. I still rejoice in the enthusiasm of the teenager who, even though she lost her Mom last month, still entered the house of God every day with a smile because, as she told me, she wants to “stay in the way of God” and be “strong in Jesus” for the rest of her life. I hope to see again the elderly man, who, though suffering from some unknown lingering ailment, still walked to the church every morning before dawn and never left without making sure I got my hug from him.
I miss my new friends at the Mariani Revival Center. One young man who said to me before I left Haiti, "We have only our love and our prayers to offer you, but when we see that someone truly wants to help us, we have a lot of love to give." The intensity of their hunger for God is shaming me; their love is changing me.
May God bless and prosper the church in Haiti. And not just in Haiti. Let us be faithful to pray that God, our true Father, will strengthen, protect and empower the body of Christ in every land. After all, if they are believers, they aren't strangers to us, no matter where they live — they're family.
Your sister in Christ,
Betty Jean Harmsen
Written in August, 2007