“In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:10
Repentance is defined as follows; a change of thought to correct a wrong and gain forgiveness from a person who is wronged. In religious contexts it usually refers to confession to God, ceasing sin against God, and resolving to live according to religious law. It typically includes an admission of guilt, a promise or resolve not to repeat the offense; an attempt to make restitution for the wrong, or in some way to reverse the harmful effects of the wrong where possible. The Haitian word for repent is “Repanti” I read a devotion recently that told of a Pastor receiving a letter that told of the sudden death of a father; a man who years before had drifted away from church and God but because of unfulfilled intentions and repeated postponements had never made it back. The last words of the letter from his family were “It’s so easy to get lost from God that some forget how easy it is to return.”
It is really easy to get lost if we follow the lies of this world. These children who attend the Lutheran school at Bois Marchand hear the lies daily from the majority of the people who will intersect their journey each day. The lies of the vodou priest will tell them that God does not love them. Day after day family members and friends will try to chip away at their faith with the lies from the vodou priest. We know how easy it is to get lost and have seen others separate themselves from their Heavenly Father. As they become more enmeshed in the daily grind along their journey, obstacles pile up. It grows harder and harder to find the way back to God and repent of their sins. Our Heavenly Father is always near; nearer than they think, yearning for them, seeking, searching and calling them back. That is the picture of God that Jesus places before us in the three stories in Luke 15; the seeking shepherd, the searching housewife and the yearning father. In each case, the seekers celebrate joyfully when the lost have returned to the fold. Thank you for continuing to pray for these children, provide for their daily meal and give thanks for their witness in Haiti as they become seekers of the lost.
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