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REJOICING IN PAIN


Richard Stearns, the president of World Vision, visited a church in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, nearly a year after the devastating earthquake. The church's building consisted of a tent made from white tarps and duct tape, pitched in the midst of a sprawling camp for thousands of people still homeless from the earthquake.


In the front row of that church sat six amputees ranging in age from 6 to 60. They were clapping and smiling as they sang song after song and lifted their prayers to God. The worship was full of hope...[and] with thanksgiving to the Lord.


No one was singing louder or praying more fervently than Demosi Louphine, a 32-year-old unemployed single mother of two. During the earthquake, a collapsed building crushed her right arm and left leg. After four days both limbs had to be amputated, but she was leading the choir, standing on her prosthesis and lifting her one hand high in praise to God...


Following the service, Stearns met Demosi and her two daughters, ages eight and ten, who were living in a tent just five feet tall and perhaps eight feet wide. She had lost her job, her home, and two limbs, but she was deeply grateful because God spared her life on January 12th last year (2010)..."He brought me back like Lazarus, giving me the gift of life," says Demosi...[who] believes she survived the devastating quake for two reasons: to raise her girls and to serve her Lord for a few more years.


Richard Stearns comments: "It makes no sense to me as an 'entitled American' who grouses at the smallest inconveniences--a clogged drain or a slow wi-fi connection in my home. Yet here in this place, many people who had lost everything...expressed nothing but praise." Then he continues, "They have so much more to offer me than I to them. I feel pity and sadness for them, but it is they who might better pity me for the shallowness of my own walk with Christ."


(Richard Stearns, Suffering and Rejoicing in a Haitian Tent Camp, www.Christianitytoday.com, 1-12-11)


When our hope is in the Lord, we can rejoice no matter what life throws our way. In fact, we can GREATLY rejoice just like these Haitian believers. Jesus is risen, so be glad even in times of pain.


(From a sermon by C. Philip Green, Our Living Hope, 4/26/2011)

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