Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Helping Hands of God

Helping Hands of God
By Brenda Black

On any given day, there is tragedy and triumph somewhere in the world. Often it is in the midst of horrific circumstances that victories are significantly more visible. On an island a mere 1,975 flight miles from the U.S., more than 3.5 million people have endured a nightmare that only grows more grotesque in the face of daylight. But one week after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, miraculous stories are emerging. Determined rescue workers unearth remarkable survivors from the wreckage. Compassionate people offer tenderness and a cool drink. Yes, good can rise out of tribulation if we will open our eyes and hearts and minds and be the hands of God. When the task is overwhelming, heroes step up to the challenge and evoke goodness in the face of mayhem and dismay. Here are two examples.

Lindsey & Bowin Tichenor recorded a “Not A Fan” testimony video less than a year ago and shared their emotional call to go to the Dominican Republic as Christian missionaries to work on water purification with a group called Edge Outreach. They are now in the streets of Haiti making a difference in the Lord's name. The latest update: "We helped distribute food to...10,000 people in two hours. We had the ...UN troops helping with security. The people were so happy and thankful to finally have their first food in six days!"

These heroes answered the call and sold everything they owned and surrendered to God's will long before they had any inkling of a catastrophic disaster. They stepped up to the challenge and were right where they were needed at just the right time because they obeyed God months in advance.

FIVE water purifiers and a team of eight workers headed to Haiti on Jan. 20, as part of the first phase of EDGE OUTREACH water relief! If you want to contribute to their efforts, visit . All funds raised in response to the Haiti earthquake will be used immediately to provide clean water for children and families affected by this crisis.

Beyond the necessities of life, others are also providing emotional and spiritual support to the traumatized. Clifford Shaw, a relative of former pastor of Nevada's First Christian Church, Eldon Shaw, is in Pignon Haiti (about 75 miles from Port-au-Prince). In a letter, he said his only contact with the outside world lasts about an hour a day when a generator powers a satellite internet at the home of Dr. Acene Jean Pierre. The medical doctor has a children’s home, Haiti Mercy Mission, where they are caring for 50 orphaned children.

Dr. Pierre’s wife and a medical student from the orphanage were in Port-au-Prince at the time of the earthquake. They were on a third floor, when the first two floors collapsed under them. They escaped, but spent the next two nights in the street. On Thursday they, with a group of refugees, walked 10 miles to the first transportation they could find and went to Pignon. Friday morning, they were told that at least 500 from Pignon, that were students in Port-au-Prince, were among the dead.

Shaw said, “The hardest part is seeing the emotional pain on the face of these people in their time of loss.” He is there with a group of Americans ministering to the grieving and working on arrangement for food to feed the refuges that are coming. If you want to contribute to their efforts, please make checks out to TLC International and mark it “Haiti Fund” and mail it to TLC International, PO Box 22722, Billings, Mt. 59104.

These heroes of the faith, already working in a harsh environment, are now stretched to do so much more in the face of such human tragedy. Yet, they don't hesitate to step up to the challenge because they walk in obedience to God who says, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:7-8)

We never know what we are being prepared for in the Lord's work. But no doubt He equips his faithful followers to be ready when earth-shattering turmoil hits. Answers to life's hardest questions rest in the peace of knowing Christ, living by his power and under his conviction. We are called to love Him and obey. We are called to trust Him and obey. We are called to serve Him and obey. We are called to put faith into action.

“Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all you soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'” (Matt. 22:37-39)

When the task seems overwhelming, may we be inspired by these examples of self-less living so that we can face anything, knowing God goes ahead of us and calls us to step up only when and where He is already at work. We simply have to heed His call and help any way we can.

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