Today, during a congressional prayer service in Washington, D.C., we remembered those who died three years ago, the results of the most devastating earthquake in Haiti’s recorded history. Even more, we now remember those who are trying to forge a new and more hopeful future despite overwhelming challenges.
The Apostle Paul asked, “Why is it thought incredible by any of you that God raises the dead?” (Acts 26.8) Paul then went on to testify, sharing details about his personal story of transformation and change. He essentially described himself as one who had been resurrected from the death of errant behaviors, the devaluing of others, and overcoming self-imposed obstacles.
All of us have heard the staggering numbers of death and dying, destruction and displacement, and lingering despair in Haiti. “Behind every number, of course, is a person, a story, a life.” (Aaron Tate, CWS)
Really, however, is it so incredible that any of us imagines a Haiti that is raised from the dead? Have we given up hope that Haiti can somehow recover from that which attempted to break its spirit? “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.” (I Cor. 15:19)
Friends, Haiti, and Haitians for that matter are not to be pitied. Along the rolling mountains, and the rugged coastland; in crowded cities and small hamlets, I have seen the face of Haiti. Yes, we have seen the face of Haiti. The lines across her brow are not defined by worry, but by a deep and abiding faith; and the crevices in her beautiful black skin bespeak a resolve that is about more than just what this world chooses to offer.
Her voice romanticizes the possibilities of the future, when she says: “[S]uffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame…” (Romans 5:3-5)
Rev. John L. McCullough is President and CEO of CWS.