“Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” John 11:38-43
These passages from the Gospel of John telling of the raising of Lazarus from the dead remind me today of the urgency of seeking and saving the lost souls in Haiti. The attached photo was taken from the roof of my apartment in Petionville and whenever I would go out and hang my laundry on the line; this was my view to the West. As far as I knew, close to eighty percent of the people living on the side of that hill practiced vodou at that time and had not heard the truth about Jesus Christ, the Son of God who brought Lazarus from the tomb and later would himself conquer death and the devil. Many of the people living in that neighborhood had either not heard about the Savior of the world or had heard and rejected the story and still believed the lies of the vodou priest.
The story of the raising of Lazarus was true as this event took place in front of many grieving Jews who came to the tomb to mourn with the family; they reported this event to the Pharisees. This event was an important factor leading up the death of Jesus because it was upon hearing of this miracle that the chief of priests and Pharisees determined to bring about the death of Jesus. Rescuing the people on this hillside of Petitionville seems to be an impossible feat in the eyes of the world; too often we put God into a box and only think about what we can do and don’t look at what God is capable of doing. I listened to a Southern Gospel song recently called “My name is Lazarus” and the final verse is as follows;
“He said, “My name is Lazarus, could I testify? My name is Lazarus, it feels good to be alive. When I in chains of death was bound, this man named Jesus called me out. If you think your little problem is too big for Him to solve take it from the one who’s heard the mighty voice of God. A living testimony of His death-defying touch, my name is Lazarus”
There are thousands of children attending Christian schools in Port-au-Prince who are being blessed through Trinity/HOPE feeding programs. These young missionaries will bring the message of the raising of Lazarus by our Risen Savior to the people living on the hillside. It is a God thing, you are blessed to take part in their preparation; but their sharing the Gospel message is certainly a God thing. Thank you for answering the call to seek and save the lost by sharing of your financial gifts and prayers with the children who will take the saving message to the lost souls throughout Haiti.
Dear Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.
May God be with you…Jay