Thursday, February 4, 2010

Haiti: God Is There

Jean, 13, was having fun kicking his soccer ball around when it turned into a nightmare. Suddenly the ground began moving underneath his feet and buildings started collapsing, including his home where his parents and five sisters were. The Haiti earthquake on January 12 took the lives of Jean’s family, making him an instant orphan.

Before the earthquake, Haiti’s population was 10 million with 46% under 18 years old. Out of that number, the United Nation’s reported there were 380,000 orphans. Following the earthquake, Jean and thousands more children have now dramatically increased the Haitian orphan population.

Nearly every year since 2000, there have been terrible floods or hurricanes that took thousands of lives, including large swaths of parents. For years, through natural disasters and many other causes orphan numbers have been growing.

In the midst of this orphan crisis, there is hope. According to the Joint Council on International Children’s Services, there are 187 licensed orphanages in Haiti that are caring for thousands of children. Many of these are operated by Christian missionaries, who have been transformed by the love of God and are compelled to go and demonstrate the same love they have been shown. These orphanages not only provide onsite care but work to find loving families who will adopt children. Immediately following the earthquake, the State Department said 300 American families were waiting to adopt a Haitian child.

The staff at these orphanages and adoptive families are being “God with skin on”. Rather then standing at a distance, separating themselves from the hurt, injustice and potential danger, they voluntarily run right into it.

Where was God during the earthquake? He was there. He was there long before and still is. One place you can see Him are the orphanages, each worker being His hands and feet.

Maybe you have had an earthquake in your life. Through a series of bad choices, your world has come crumbling down around you. Now, even in a sea of people and activities you feel lost and alone.

God, through His Son, Jesus Christ, and some people He may have placed in your life, comes and calls you by name. He is not standing at a distance. He is close, patiently and compassionately waiting, “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way . . . for [God] will abundantly pardon.” (The Bible, Isaiah 55:6-7, ESV)

The God of heaven, who created you and me, is calling. When you place your total trust in Him, you are instantly adopted and welcomed into His family, the family of God. He becomes your Father and those who follow Him become your brothers and sisters. Come into the family of God and find your hope for today.