It’s a familiar phrase to James Bond movie fans but it could be a sad epitaph for the Haitian response to the earthquake if we are not mindful.
As we reflect on the impact of the January 12th earthquake, here on the one year anniversary, I can’t help but think of those who were drawn closer to God as a result of the quake. I think of those whose lives were sparred who said, “God let me use this second chance to serve you fully, without reservation.”
Churches were packed. The nation had three days of fasting and prayer where I could literally roll down the windows of my car and drive for miles while listening to non-stop prayer, praise and adoration on the streets of Haiti. It was like nothing I have ever seen or experienced. It looked like revival.
It reminded me of the tragedy at the twin towers in New York City occurred on Sept 11. After the tragedy, churches were overflowing with attendees. People all over America turned to God. It also looked like revival. But with the passing of time, people settled back into their old, self-focused ways – mass consumers of entertainment, technology and total apathy to everything that didn’t affect them directly. It is all too familiar.
Will that happen in Haiti? Sadly, we’ve seen telltale signs. People who once worked hard to feed their families now get free food from NGOs that supply their daily needs at their tent city. They don’t have to pay rent. They don’t have to work. The tent cities have become ”the projects.” Non-government supported welfare. Rapes, robberies, extortion and late night drunken parties are common fare at the tent cities. These were the same people who, one year earlier, were on their knees during three days of fasting and prayer. But when the blessings came, what happened to God?
If the earthquake only caused people to be shaken without being stirred to respond to the will of God, then the loss is greater than all the destruction caused by the earthquake. Haiti, with its sad history of unstable governments, poverty, disease, famine and death, can be transformed. But it will not be through relief funds, nor a new president, nor NGOs, nor anything of this earth. It can only be by the mighty hand of a Mighty God, moving across this country in response to repentant hearts and a multitude of prayer.
if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 1 Chronicles 7:14
There is Hope. The world should not forget what happened at 4:53pm on January 12, 2010 but, more importantly, the world should not forget to pray and pray hard for the nation of Haiti. The battle has just begun. God bless you.