“For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:11
I don’t know where you happened to worship on Sunday, but it is probably a comfortable Sanctuary. Unlike in Haiti, your pews are not also used for a classroom full of children during the week. I have visited congregations in North America where a congregation holds their worship service in a gymnasium on Sunday, my previous congregation in Nebraska does that with their Room 211 service; it cannot compare to what takes place in Haitian churches and schools. The attached photo is of the Lutheran church in Los Cacos which is just a few miles from the border with the Dominican Republic in the Plateau Central in Northeast Haiti. This wooden building with a tin roof is about the size of a Sear’s aluminum shed that stores ‘stuff’ in the backyards of many North Americans; it was about 12’ x 16’ when I stepped off its width by length measurement.
The pews are wood boards nailed onto cut branches dug into the dirt floor and light is provided by opening three wood shutters on the windows and the door. School children sit in the pews during the week and children and parents worship there on Sunday. It is God’s house. Doesn’t matter how small, how plain or simple it may be, it is God’s house and the work of saving soul’s is taking place within the wooden walls. When I look at this little building the song “the Church is one Foundation” comes to mind. The words for this song were written by Samuel J. Stone in 1866 and it seems like a good time to share them with you today.
“The church has one foundation, tis Jesus Christ her Lord; She is His new creation, through water by the word. From heav’n He came and sought her to be His holy bride; with His own blood He bought her, and for her life He died. Elect from every nation, yet one o’er all the earth, Her charter of salvation; one Lord, one faith, one birth. One holy name she blesses, partakes one holy food; and to one hope she presses, with every grace endued. Long with a scornful wonder men saw her sore oppressed, by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed. Yet saints their watch were keeping to hail a brighter day, when God should stop their weeping, take their reproach away. The evening sun is shining, the cloudy day is past; the time of their repining is at an end at last. The voice of God is calling to unity again; division walls are falling, with all the creeds of men. Back to the one foundation, from sects and creeds made free, come saints of every nation to blessed unity. Once more the ancient glory shines as in days of old, and tells the wondrous story—One God, one faith, one fold.”
This Church is complete; it was built by Lutheran Haitians on the firm foundation of Christ without any help from North America. The members constructed this church and school; it is alive preparing the people with Hope to share the Gospel with the hopeless. No walls were left unfinished by well intending North Americans, no unfulfilled promises and nothing for the vodou priests in the community of Los Cacos to question why their God did not complete building; their church. Thank you for continuing to add to your daily prayers, the children attending Christian schools in 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