from Pastor William Kirchhofer Clifton, NJ, Crossroads FMC
Water will gush in the wilderness and streams in the desert. Gladness and joy will overtake them and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
Isaiah 35: 6b, 10b
Poverty, disease, starvation and then on January 12, 2010, the earth shook. Now death, destruction, loss and grief join the brokenness that is Haiti.
On February 21 we step out of our cocoon into the devastation of Port-au-Prince. Hungry people and collapsed buildings line the streets. Fragile tent cities arise amid the rubble. The entire country is in shock and grief.
Who can rebuild the rubble? Who can heal the brokenhearted? Can there be streams in the desert? Can the prophecy of Isaiah 35 be fulfilled?
We arrive at Marchand Dessalines, and we join a team of four doctors and one nurse for a week of ministry at the Claire Heureuse (Dessalines) Hospital. Our assignment is to minister to the emotional and spiritual needs of the patients. We are at ground zero.
We move through the wards patient by patient:
- A five-year-old girl in the midst of an epileptic fit is healed through prayer.
- A woman who lost four children in the earthquake is comforted and converted.
- Many others are converted throughout the week.
- A 9-month-old baby who had been drinking only sugar water for three days is given milk to drink. The mother is converted.
- A woman dying of cancer is prayed for and comforted as Jesus takes her home.
- A woman dies as we pray for her. Several others die.
- The gospel is preached as the patients gather in the outdoor chapel at 6:30 a.m. each morning waiting for the clinic to open.
- An alcoholic repents and is given food for the first time in several days.
- Many patients receive grief counseling.
- Food is distributed at the hospital to about 80 people.
- A two-month-old baby whose mother died in the earthquake is adopted by her aunt who was converted.
- The week ends with a funeral service for a young woman who died in the earthquake; the family receives closure, and the healing process begins.
As we pray, give sacrificially and go, the prophecy begins its fulfillment. Healing and renewal come to the broken and grieving. Then suddenly one day the prophecy will be complete: Jesus will return and the desert of this world will become a spring eternal, and sorrow and sighing will flee forever away.