That didn't hold anything back from the celebration on Sunday morning, however!
An email one of our board members wrote keeps coming back to me as I think about this 50th celebration. "It's not easy" he pointed out, "sustaining something good, in Haiti nonetheless, for FIFTY years."
He is so right. Only God could do that.
A lot of things HAVE been sustained in Haiti for decades....poverty, spiritual oppression, political instability and corruption, terrible roads, very low level living conditions, lack of education for many, the list goes on and on.
Thousands of good ideas have launched, thousands of good efforts and tries and promising ventures, many fantastic people have been or come or tried.
But so few have lasted, have endured, have made it in this difficult country, not even in the 10 years that Matt and I have been here.
Anything that God has done is worth celebrating. Even if it lasts a fleeting moment.
But I am truly in awe and grateful to be celebrating something God began in Haiti so so long ago, that has overcome just unbelievable obstacles and changes and difficulties, to be the growing and vibrant and powerful and enduring and transforming ministry that EBS is...still...TODAY.
And I'm not the only one.
Yesterday was an awesome service of celebrating just that-- our Jesus King who put Emmaus on the heart of a man in the 50's, and who has been faithful with His presence and provision and power, even unto today.
Dave Graffenberger, one of the founders, and Louis Destine, one of the members of the very first class, shared (full interview with Dave coming soon!) stories from the beginning.
The choir sang, our students led worship, and many of our long-time visiting professors played a part in the service.
Matt preached about our Faithful God who never changes, yet who is always doing something new from Isaiah 43. He talked about the new thing Emmaus was fifty years ago, and about all the new things that EBS has seen since. He talked about the new things God is doing in Haiti through Emmaus even today, with so many staff and alumni and students being represented.
He talked about how great our God, receiver of all the glory, and of how low we might become before Him. He talked about our calling as His children to be nothing but available, to be used by His grace. He talked about some of the men and women in Emmaus' past and present, like Edlin, our friend and physically handicapped staff member who makes juice for the staff and students every day, and what a testimony and example they are to all of pouring ourselves out for His unshakeable kingdom.
I wish you had been there. I wish I had been there.
But I'm really thankful that God has been...and excited about what obstacles He still has to overcome, what miracles He still has to preform, what paths He still has to make straight, what Light He still has to bring to Darkness, what freedom He still has to offer those enslaved, what work He still has for all of us to do, for His glory!