Friday, January 15, 2010

Our Christian aid workers are in danger

Good morning my friends. We need to pray hard for the Christian workers in Haiti and for those on their way to Haiti; their lives are about to change forever. They are facing things that you and I cannot imagine and those things will try to change and reshape them, and in some ways it will succeed. But will they allow it to shake their faith? These dear workers are about to have a sensory overload and the way they respond to that will greatly depend on the maturity of their faith.

Do you remember when Jesus tried to get away from the masses of people after hearing about his cousin John being beheaded? He tried to escape by boat but the crowd guessed where he was going and beat him to that location. As Jesus approached that place of hoped-for-solitude, where he anticipated to spend some time in prayer and with his friends, he found a teeming mass of human pain and suffering waiting for him. This wasn't a church gathering. This was a crowd made up of people from every walk of life, with every possible sin, with every possible disease, with every possible heartache, with every possible injury and deformity; all focused on him. Most of us would have turned and ran as far away as possible. Not Jesus:

When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. (Matthew 14:13-14)

For the next little while these Christian aid workers will not be able to get away from the suffering; it is going to be all around them; everywhere they turn for a break they will face it. They have a choice; they can allow their hearts to be hardened a bit so that they protect themselves, but this may change them in a negative way from years to come; or they can allow Jesus to love these people through them. What I mean by this is that they do not take this suffering upon themselves but they recognize it belongs to Jesus and their acts of love belong to Jesus so they are nothing more than the vessel of that love. The only way this is possible is for them to stay 100% focused on Jesus Christ. They need to remember their calling and purpose. Paul told Timothy:

Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith. (1 Timothy 1:18-19)

There are times that we can be overcome by the circumstances of our life to the point where we disown everything we have been instructed about God, turning our back on faith. If these aid workers do not remain grounded in their calling, their purpose, in the Word of God, in worship, in prayer and in fellowship with other believers they will become overwhelmed and overcome by the suffering. They need to be covered in prayer, but more than that we need to remind them of scripture verses that remind them and encourage them that Jesus overcame which makes them more than conquerors through him. They also need to know we are praying. Try to get hold of the contact information of some of these workers. Don't ask them any questions, just remind them of verses and tell them what you are praying for them.

If you know any of these workers then, with their permission, get their names out on Twitter or FaceBook so the rest of us can be praying for them by name. Ask their permission to share their email or Twitter (preferably Twitter) so we can send them our prayers and scripture verses. We need to let them know they are not alone, they are representing the Church and Jesus. My friends, fight the good fight for the brothers and sisters fighting against the evil of despair and hopelessness that is setting in over Haiti. Pray!

Here is an excellent article: 8 Specific Ways To Pray for Haiti

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