This morning during worship assembly at the Estes Church of Christ, Jesse Robertson, one of the pulpit preachers at Estes and a Bible teacher at Freed-Hardeman, gave the lesson. The scripture reading came from Matthew 25... anyone from Torch Missions knows the passage well. As Jesse walked up to the stage a photo taken from a recent trip to Haiti was projected on the wall. The sermon focused on the mission outreach going on in Haiti as related to Matthew 25.
As we looked at the photos and the devastation in Haiti we listened intently to what Jesse was saying about the work going on there. It is in times of desperate situations that you see the amazing bravery and sacrifice f those who are going into the line of work. Amidst the ruin and destruction and the death you see the will to live and to move from the Haitians and the humanitarianism outreach from all over the world. Dozens of volunteer teams from the church have gone in and worked in these conditions without giving a second thought to their own comfort and safety.
Over 1.5 million dollars has been sent to Estes from individuals, organizations, and congregations. It is just one of several congregations that are directly involved in the work going on in Haiti. Estes is organizing their 5th team to go to Haiti in less than 3 weeks. And Estes is just one spoke of the wheel of help going in.
Gayle Davidson, one of the long time Torch team leaders from Melbourne, Florida, just arrived home a day ago. She was part of the 4th medical team IRC has sent to Haiti in the past 3 weeks. Orthopedic surgeons, nurses, EMT's, and paramedics have been involved in the work with the IRC med teams working in the remnants of the hospital that was in Port Au Prince. Gayle has been instrumental in gathering medical supplies and medicines to take to Haiti and getting them across the Dominican Republic's boarder into Haiti. There base of operation was the Son Light Children's Home, where Roberta Edwards, supported by the Estes congregation, works. Food and supplies were packaged and distributed by local missionaries from this point.
It amazes me what tremendous amount of work, supplies, donations, etc, can be generated during a time of crisis and need. Besides Estes and IRC, I know that the Central Church of Christ in Sarasota and the Northeast Church of Christ in Tampa, are also very actively involved with relief efforts. And this is just my tiny little corner of the world... imagine what all is taking place around the country! When the need is great the "sleeping giant" responds in a mighty way. I would love to hear what others out there have / are doing for the Haitian relief effort. Write me at email@example.com
However, as we all know, other mission points around the world are still in need. Even though the spotlight has been on Haiti, there are many other places that are hurting and in need of help and assistance. Honduras is one of them. The assistance in Honduras, a continuous need, is not only there but amplified from last year's political unrest. The international community turned its back on Honduras as they stood up to Mel Zelaya and said, "enough is enough!" Paying a costly price, Honduras chose integrity and honor in defending its constitution in the mist of the over throw of Zelaya. Financial aide, goods, and services were stopped during the past 8 months and the people of Honduras, especially the poor, paid the price. The need in Honduras is overwhelming and we cannot forget them.
So, as we gather supplies and seek donations to pay for food, clothes, medical supplies, and more, we hope and pray that the generosity of our congregations, members, friends and family will not fail us. I encourage each and every one of us to work diligently to collect the supplies listed on the blog, to write letters of support to raise money, and to do fundraisers to help prepare us for the trip we are taking this summer.
Finally, please remember that applications and deposits are due at the end of this month. On March 1st those on the waiting list will begin filling any spots that become vacant from those on the list who have not turned in paperwork and deposits. 2 weeks and counting!!!! The Lord continues to open new doors this summer for our team and I am more excited than ever for the work we are going to do this year. I will talk more about it in future blogs. Until then, take care and may God be the focal point of all we say and do.