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Chaos & Kingdom in Haiti

Article written by Brad Hammond, Lifeline’s Field Leadership Coach. Brad & Susan have lived in Haiti for many years and currently serve with Lifeline in Haiti to develop our leaders.

From page one of the biblical story, we see our God bringing order and peace to the chaos. “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” (Gen. 1:2) Those two words, “formless and empty,” in the original Hebrew text brings the idea of an uninhabitable, chaotic reality.

It is in that reality that God breaks in and brings his ordered, beautiful, and peaceful creation. And that’s only page one! What do we see on the last page of the story? We see a King who has dealt a death blow to chaos, making all things new. His creation fully at peace, never to be interrupted by the chaos again. Man, the biblical story is so awesome! 

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Haiti itself is currently experiencing chaos in ways it hasn’t in quite some time.
The reason for the intensifying chaos is complex, but in general, it is a converging of three major issues:

  • Political strife,
  • a declining dollar,
  • and now a fuel crisis. 

For the last year, an opposition party has been working hard to unseat the President of Haiti. Their strategy has been to lock down the country, making life very difficult for the people, therefore putting pressure on the President. The value of the dollar has continually been on the decline, bringing chaos to families who are finding it more difficult every day to put food on the table. The mounting fuel crisis (lack of fuel) has now greatly added to the chaos in the streets.

In a sense, this has become the perfect storm that the opposition party has hoped for. Because of the current situation, our Haitian leaders at Lifeline have been unable to travel at times because it is too dangerous and risky. Lifeline has decided to halt all travel to Haiti at this time, postponing both missionary and team travel because of the chaos.

Haiti Landscape

If you take the chaos away, there is no doubt that Haiti offers some of the most stunning beauty the human eye can see. Unfortunately, it is impossible right now to take the chaos away.
It is there. And it’s all created by forces that are at odds with the Creator. 

The present moment Haiti finds itself in is continually reminding me that we cannot ignore the fact that Jesus was born into a country in chaos. So dangerous and chaotic it was, that he had to flee the country for a few years only to return to find his home still in chaos. Rome had ravaged the known world for its own gain, leaving behind a trail of devastated lives. The Jewish people were taxed in burdensome ways that you nor I have ever even come close to. Violent opposition was continually in the streets. Political tension was pushed to a breaking point over and over. Acts of terrorism (crucifixion) were a common occurrence. It was in that chaotic reality that a humble, gentle Jewish carpenter grew up and went to work, and quietly did construction for years.

Chaos and Kingdom Collage 

And then suddenly one day he makes a startling announcement, “It’s time! The Kingdom of God is here!” (Mark 1:15). In essence, what Jesus’ proclamation about the Kingdom means is that he has returned to bring heaven to earth once again. In an instant, he sheds his carpenter’s clothes only to reveal his Kingly military uniform. For his weaponry, he holds grace in one hand and truth in the other (John 1:14). His Kingdom, his powerful reign, was breaking into creation to overthrow the evil power of sin and death, and the destruction that it had brought upon his good creation. That was, and still is, Jesus’ mission. He is inviting you and me, the Church, into the chaos.

You could say that is what it means to be Christian: to be someone who has been freed by the King and have given themselves fully to the Kingdom mission. We are a family of freedom fighters. 

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That is the mission that Jesus is calling our Haitian brothers and sisters into right now. Yes, it is a chaotic time. But, it is in the darkness that the light shines brightest. This is a moment for the Church in Haiti to be a light in the darkness (Matthew 5:13-16). It seems like this would be a moment for our brothers and sisters in Haiti to sit down and rest. But let me tell you what one of my hard-working Haitian sisters once told me, “Haitians never sit down!” Tough lady! 

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Our Haitian brothers and sisters would not ask you to cry for them in this moment. They would ask you to pray for them, and not in some passing or small way. They would ask you to pray for them every single day. Pray hard...on your knees! 

  • Pray that when they are tired, God will strengthen their bodies. 
  • Pray that when they are discouraged, the Holy Spirit will remind them of who their King is and that the hope of his return will allow them to stand with courage. 
  • Pray that they will see beyond the chaos, and see Jesus battling not only for them but for those who are far off from Him. 
  • Pray that though the enemy is working to bring death and destruction to the country, the LORD would work through his people to bring life and peace! 
  • Pray the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) daily over our Haitian brothers and sisters.

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As long as it is safe, our brothers and sisters in Haiti continue ministering in our churches, schools, clinics, etc.  Your partnership with Lifeline is so important right now!  

  • The meals you have packed are being distributed daily by our Haitian brothers and sisters who work in our nutrition programs and cook in our school kitchens. Those meals are good news in chaotic times. 
  • Your financial partnership has allowed our Haitian brothers and sisters to be at work in our clinics, restoring health to those who are sick. 
  • The children that you have sponsored are being taught and cared for daily by our Haitian brothers and sisters who work in our schools. 
  • The churches that you have helped plant have leaders and pastors who are working hard to preach and prove the Good News in their communities. 
  • In these areas and so many others, our Haitian brothers and sisters are hard at work. Having work in these chaotic times is good news, it’s really important! 

Let’s continue to lock arms in these times of chaos. Let’s keep praying and advancing with Jesus in bringing His Kingdom to earth as it is in heaven! May God bring his grace and peace!

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2020 mission trips are being scheduled now
 to Lifeline's many ministry locations! We are still scheduling trips to Haiti for 2020 and will analyze each trip on a case by case scenario.