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Summary: This is a 4 part motivational report I gave to the congregation after a Sabbatical trip to Haiti; it includes 7 transferable insights.

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Lessons from Haiti {Part 2}

Acts 15:4

Big Idea: This is a 4 part motivational report I gave to the congregation after a Sabbatical trip to Haiti; it includes 7 transferable insights.

When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them. (Acts 15:4)

Intro:

On January 12, 2010 Haiti was rocked by a catastrophic 7.0 earthquake. Within the next few days least 52 aftershocks measuring 4.5 or greater had been recorded.

An estimated three million people were affected by the quake; the Haitian government reported

• 316,000 people had died,

• 300,000 had been injured

• 1,000,000 made homeless

• 250,000 homes were destroyed

• 30,000 commercial buildings were destroyed

The damage is beyond our imagination. Things we take for granted were lost.

• The communication system was in ruins – no one could call in or out

• Electricity was unavailable

• The airport was destroyed

• The ports were rendered inoperable.

• The underground infrastructure was obliterated

* The sewage system was destroyed

* The water system was destroyed

The world immediately began to offer aid.

• The U.N. and the west immediately repaired the airport so help could get in.

• They also repaired the ports so ships could dock and bring aid, etc.

• They set up a patchwork of electricity.

Some things have yet to be repaired.

• The sewage system

• Running water

• Electricity is shut off in Port-au-Prince every evening at 8:00 p.m.

But there was an even greater problem. It involved the 316,000 dead buried under tons of rubble coupled with the heat and humidity of Haiti posed a serious health problem to the living. Something had to be done with the dead bodies ASAP!

The solution seems grim and inhumane but urgent & necessary.

• The U.N. dug huge mass graves about 3 miles outside of town. The dead were loaded in dump trucks and buried without identification in these graves. You can find pictures of this on the internet.

• This led to another problem … children … orphaned children … soon began showing up at the gravesite.

• It was at this point that Jesus’ church probably provided its greatest assistance to the Haitian people. The churches established orphanages for the children. There were already orphanages by the churches so they knew how to do this but not to the degree there is now. For example, the Baptist Church that we worshipped at while in Haiti already had some but now runs 32 orphanages. We stayed and served at one in Port-au-Prince, in fact, one of its walls is shared by the airport.

• These orphanages are, to this day overwhelmed. The need is enormous!

Each day while in Haiti I kept a journal. I succinctly added a one sentence summary of each to capsulate the daily experience.

This “sermon” is based upon those one sentence summaries.

+++++++++++++++

MONDAY:

I LEARNED TO SPEAK A NEW LANGUAGE TODAY - NOT CREOLE OR FRENCH - LAUGHTER. Orphaned children taught it to me.

TUESDAY:

I THOUGHT I WAS BRINGING GOD WITH ME TO HAITI; I DISCOVERED HE WAS ALREADY HERE. Orphaned children taught it to me.

WEDNESDAY:

I LEARNED THAT WORSHIP ONLY REQUIRES A WHOLE HEART SEEKING GOD. Orphaned children taught it to me.

THURSDAY:

I LEARNED THAT SERVICE COSTS SOMETHING.

• Wesley (the orphanage director) took his family to Miami after the earthquake but he spends more weeks per year with the orphans than with his wife and children.

• There is a deep ache in his heart for his family but a calling (and a love) for the children as well.

• It is a mistake to think that following God will not require sacrifice.

• I assure you that following Jesus will demand that you restructure your priorities, habits, and lifestyles. It is inevitable.

• If one thinks that following God means things will go smoothly and that being blessed by God means you will always be happy and satisfied in this life then one will soon become disillusioned and quit. Emotional happiness, a smooth life, and material possessions are not a sign of God’s blessing or calling. In fact, God’s calling may very well be the precise reason things are not smooth.

• Remember:

• We all have a calling on our lives.

• We are called to faithfulness not comfort.

Hebrews 13:16 “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”

1 Peter 4:10, says “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”

FRIDAY:

I LEARNED THAT SMALL SIMPLE THINGS CAN BRING GREAT JOY.

• Orphaned children taught it to me.

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