“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:4-6
When I lived in Haiti my home congregation was Bon Berger Eglise Evangelique Lutheriene in Caredeux which is a suburb located off of Delmas 75 in Port-au-Prince. Bon Berger is Haitian Creole for “Good Shepherd” and the mother and child in the attached photo live nearby and worship there too. The photo was taken by Lori Wolfe-Beerenstrauch probably in 2000 while there with a mission team. It has always been one of my favorites as the smile on the mother’s face exemplifies the above verses from the fourth chapter of Philippians.
Her expression speaks volumes of gentleness...the Lord is near and don’t be anxious about anything. If you knew where she lived, saw her small dwelling, no electricity, no indoor plumbing, no ample supply of food or clean water…well you just have to ask how can she be so calm, at peace and happy.
When you see a group of school children walking to school down a dirty path in their clean school uniforms, coming from similar living conditions, with broad smiles on their faces…how can this be? The mother has her child in her arms and is confident that God is taking care of her today and will again tomorrow. The children walking to school are also delighted that they are heading to school where there is a promise of food, every day, and they too know that God took care of them yesterday, will take care of them today and will again be there tomorrow.
How often are we like that mother, at peace and comforted in the knowledge that our Triune God is taking care of us? We are so self-dependent; we get our food, buy more clothes than we care to look at, buy our cars, home, health insurance and pay no attention to our electricity, indoor plumbing, clean water and heat in the winter and AC in the summer.
When was the last time you were in a crisis? When was the last time you were on your knees praying for deliverance from the hole that you dug yourself into? “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Every situation should be brought to our Heavenly Father in prayer. Thank you for supporting Christian education in Haiti and for being His servants for His children in Haiti, providing food for them every day and continuing to rejoice in the fact that we are saved because of His Son.
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