“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” John 14:18
Not sure if you have ever visited an orphanage in Haiti. Pastor Revenel Benoit in Gonaives had the first Lutheran orphanage that I had heard of when I arrived in March of 2001. The orphanage in Gonaives had boys, perhaps fifteen or twenty at that time and they were in ages from five to eighteen. The local Lutheran Church there took care of them, fed them, educated them, provided them with a trade and brought them up knowing Jesus Christ.
The longer that I lived in Haiti more stories of young children came into conversations as Pastors would tell of parents or single parents leaving their children on the steps of the Church or even at the pastor’s house as they could not care for them. Left alone in the neighborhood they were a prime target for the vodou priest and they would ultimately become the living resource for his evil vocation. The attached photo is of a young boy at the gate of Pastor Bruce Narcles in St. Marc. His guardian had left him there, in what clothes he had on outside the gate of the pastor’s house on a hot afternoon in Haiti. Abandoned, forgotten, a young life left to the world.
This abandoned child was fortunate; he was rescued and given support. There are times in our lives when we may feel abandoned by people that loved us or provided for us and we are in a sense orphaned too. During Lent, we read that Jesus knew His disciples would also feel as they had been abandoned and would be in need of help and support during the trying days ahead.
They were about to see their Lord and Master betrayed, arrested and crucified. Would they feel abandoned, alone? Absolutely, you have probably known this feeling at some point in your life’s journey. But there is good news for you and for the young boy in St. Marc, the truth of Easter brings a promise to your life. Jesus tells us that He will return to us and take us to see the mansion that He has prepared for you!”
His disciples needed to hear the promise from the Savior and so does country of Haiti who are still living in a country dedicated to satan through vodou. Children, like this young orphan boy who attend Christian schools are the future missionaries of Haiti and they will share that they, like you are Easter people! We live in the promise of the One who came to rescue us from the lies of this sinful world.
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