10 January 2020

The tenth anniversary of the Haiti earthquake

The tenth anniversary of the Haiti earthquake

In the Bible, God gave Moses the 10 commandments, commandments that would help promote a caring and just society. On the tenth day of the first month, the Passover Lamb was selected, which was a precursor to Jesus, our Passover Lamb as he is called in 1 Corinthians 5:7. There are several other examples in the Bible that could lead us to believe that 10 is an important number for God - one that seems to speak of wholeness, completion, hope and faith.

The nation of Haiti has reached the ten year anniversary of the devastating earthquake that took place on 12 January. Haiti was already facing deep-seated socio-economic political challenges when the earthquake struck, causing over 200,000 deaths, hundreds of thousands of injured, significant infrastructure damage and devastation to livelihoods. The consequences of the earthquake continue to affect Haitians today. The demonstrations and riots of the last few months in Haiti, caused by discontent at government corruption, increasing costs of living and exacerbated poverty tell a story that certainly does not speak of wholeness or completion.

But what the media rarely shows are the stories of the resilience and great faith of the Haitian people. Despite the hardships and challenges they face, many Haitians will still confess that Bondye bon: God is good! Those who have had the privilege of visiting Haiti and spending time with Haitian Methodists, will testify of the joy and deep faith of Haiti’s people. How many of us would be able to still confess the goodness of God, had we gone through so many years of hardship? While the socio-economic political situation is in crisis and certainly not whole or complete, the hearts of many of our Haitian brothers and sisters are whole and complete in joy, resilience, faith, hope and love for God and for each other.

Over the next week, a number of testimonies of Haitians and people connected with Haiti will be shared on our web and social media. We hope to paint a story that honours the memory of so many Haitians who died and suffered during the earthquake. We hope that the testimonies of those featured will inspire others to see Haiti far beyond its portrayal in the media but rather as a testimony of the hope of God and the work of God through its people. You can see the latest testimonies here.

     I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God…

Isaiah 43: 1-3 (NRSV)

 

A prayer for Haiti

Loving God, we remember the people of Haiti as the tenth anniversary of the earthquake approaches. We ask that you comfort and strengthen those many hundreds of thousands of people who lost loved ones, suffered injury and lost livelihoods.

We pray that you would fill their hearts with your love and courage to hope for a better day.

We acknowledge Lord that Haiti continues to face many challenges and that there is much frustration among its people.

We pray that you will speak to the hearts of all those with the power to make significant changes in the country, and to partner nations and aid agencies to use their power and influence for the good of the nation.

We pray that the economy of Haiti would flourish, that justice and truth would prevail in politics and that love would unite its society.

We acknowledge Lord that the Haiti District of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and Americas faces many challenges but we thank you for their love and for their witness to their Haitian brothers and sisters and to us.

We thank you that they continue to make more disciples of Christ and continue to grow as a church.

We ask that you strengthen them and give their leaders wisdom and strategic vision for their work for you in 2020 and beyond.

Most of all, we pray that you continue to strengthen them in your love, that they may continue to be vessels of the love of Christ in their context.

We thank you for the privilege of partnering with our sisters and brothers in Haiti and we ask that you bless them greatly.

 

In Jesus’ name we pray.

 

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