2014: a remembrance of tragedy and hope

(Image courtesy EFCA)

(Image courtesy EFCA)

Haiti (MNN) — Next month, Haiti will mark four years since a 7.0 earthquake devastated its people and infrastructure.

It will also mark the four-year anniversary of Evangelical Free Church Mission’s work in Haiti. Since then, many Gospel advances have been made.

EFCA ReachGlobal Crisis Response recently held a conference for Haitian Gospel workers. Mark Lewis, ReachGlobal director, shares many positive reports.

“Part of our time this trip was connecting with many of the partners that we’ve met over the last four years,” says Lewis. “[We] were able to convene the leadership teams from nine different partners.”

Leaders shared the following observation with Lewis concerning the Church: “In the last 30, 40, or 50 years, there’s been a great growth in the Church. [There are] many more churches…many more pastors, many more institutions for higher learning,” Lewis recalls.

“Yet, they sense that the depth and breadth of discipleship is less.”

In conclusion, there are fewer true disciples following Christ. But the good news is that being aware of a problem is the first step to addressing it.

ReachGlobal will hold another conference in the U.S. during September 2014. They hope American church leaders will learn some things from their Haitian brothers about multiplying and growing the Church. Ultimately, they hope to spread knowledge and motivation for doing Kingdom work.

See what ReachGlobal is doing in Haiti here.

Pastor Serleus Simon was brutally assassinated and his wife was shot a few weeks ago.  (Image courtesy Mark Lewis via Facebook)

Pastor Serleus Simon was brutally assassinated and his wife was shot a few weeks ago.
(Image courtesy Mark Lewis via Facebook)

Opposition usually follows Gospel growth, and Haiti’s progress is no different. A few weeks ago, Pastor Simon Serléus, the president of the Evangelical Baptist Union of Haiti, was kidnapped and murdered. For the Haitian Christians, this has been a difficult reality to process.

Without knowing whether the attack was related to religion, Lewis looks at this devastating loss from the perspective of a Christ-follower.

“For me personally it was a great reminder of the risks and costs that come with following the King, and where our true hope lies: it’s not in life in this world, but it is in our eternal life, our eternal relationship with Christ,” he concludes.

Gospel workers in Haiti remain committed to the work that Serléus began. A nursery is among their rebuilding focuses.

ReachGlobal was alerted to the Notre Dame Crèche three days after the 2010 earthquake struck. The facility had been destroyed, and 56 kids were killed. Surviving the quake were 60 children living in the streets because their shelter had been destroyed, and lacking both food and water.

Lewis looks back on that time with mixed feelings. Though the reality of death was overwhelming, “It’s just a joy to be able to serve children that are in difficult circumstances. That provided a moment of encouragement.”

ReachGlobal workers have visited the orphans periodically over these past four years. Lewis says the recent visit was further confirmation that for these children, conditions have improved since 2010.

(Image courtesy EFCA ReachGlobal)

(Image courtesy EFCA ReachGlobal)

“The kids looked great; they were well cared for and loved,” notes Lewis. “But to really have a great hope for a future, that opportunity for adoption is really important.”

Here’s where a problem arises. The director of the Crèche, Madame Evelyn, did not want to take in more than 60 children because her building had been destroyed by the quake. Instead, she focused her efforts on getting as many orphans adopted as she could.

With time, the Crèche was rebuilt with the help of her connections in France. During the rebuilding, however, the adoption process in Haiti changed completely. Madame Evelyn was no longer able to get an updated license.

“One of our prayers is that there would be some financial resources available to help connect her with the right Haitian legal people that could restore this ability for her to do the adoptions,” says Lewis.

Will you pray with them? Feel free to write a prayer in our Comments Section below.