His response surprised me, and I've been both burdened and renewed in purpose ever since.
"Pray for the church. Church members have a sense of losing hope as things get tougher and tougher in this country. A restoration of hope...that is surely among the things to pray for right now."
I guess I thought he'd say something about the government, or about prices, but to have him identify that believers are feeling hopeless just pained me...and has stretched me with that burden.
First, that just cannot be. The church cannot let go of the hope we have in Him.
cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans
who rely on human strength
and turn their hearts away from the Lord.
They are like stunted shrubs in the desert,
with no hope for the future.
They will live in the barren wilderness,
in an uninhabited salty land
Don't get me wrong...these uncertain days upon uncertain days are weary-ing. Haiti's struggle after struggle...it's an earthquake, it's a hurricane, it's a drought, political manifestations again and again and again, the poverty, the roads, the problems. We've never been through such an ongoing season of so much tension and so much uncertainty in our lives.
I understand the temptation to despair--and I understand that with my freedom to come and go as I please, my deep freezer, the solar panels in my back yard, homeschool for my children, a bank account in America, my passport, food in my cupboards...that I don't really understand.
But because of who HE is, family, we don't have to seamlessly understand another hurting person's experience to be a Biblical encouragement to them, poured out wine and broken bread. If prayers are needed for believers to have a restoration of Hope, Lord, USE ME. I am a Hope Bearer! No matter what our "day job" is, if our trust is in Him and our roots are deep, then we can be His fruit, we can be His shelter...we can be His encouragement.
blessed are those who trust in the Lord
and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
They are like trees planted along a riverbank,
with roots that reach deep into the water.
such trees are not bothered by the heat
or worried by long months of drought.
their leaves stay green,
and they never stop producing fruit.
It's been months of tension and only the Lord knows if Haiti is entering a time of peace and for how long. I would give anything for two hours removed from it all...to have a date night with Matt in a cool, clean restaurant with good food and no precious kiddos and safe streets and on a safe night. With dessert. It's hard to even picture that, it's been so impossible for so long!
We spoke in chapel together today after three great days of classes. There was joking and there were no kids and so I tried to pretend it was like a date.
But all that said?
I am genuinely excited to be in Haiti right now.
Because nothing's really changed. Lucner confirmed it.
What's really needed in the world today--in my corner of it, in yours, too--is the HOPE we have in Christ that cannot be shaken, cannot be taken. We HAVE that hope. And daily, I have opportunity after opportunity to share it, and reinforce it, to encourage it and to genuinely live it.
If you know someone in Haiti...from a trip or a newsletter or a sports camp or whatever, send them an email or a FB message or a letter today, encouraging them in the Hope we have in Christ, the stability we have in our Rock. If you are someone in Haiti, join me in asking our brothers and sisters what they need, how they feel, how we can help, how we can pray, and in encouraging them with His transformingWord.
And if you're someone wherever, His Word is overflowing with words of hope and encouragement. Being rooted deeply ourselves in Him means that we can spend our days sharing His hope and encouragement with others.
It's so badly needed.
In Me you may have peace
In the world you will have tribulation
but take heart
I have overcome the world.