The news from Haiti continues to get worse with estimates this morning that the death toll will rise above 200,000 and lawlessness in the streets is on the increase. A country that hangs by a thread on a good day is challenged beyond belief in the wake of the horrific earthquake.
Along with the various aid groups, governments and United Nations bringing initial aid are hundreds of Christian organizations. If history is any predictor, after the initial aid is delivered the governmental organizations will fade into the background and it will be faith based organizations who will be in Haiti for years to come rebuilding lives and homes and ministries. This was true in Asia in the wake of the Tsunami and is still true in New Orleans and Texas in the wake of Katrina and Ike.
I believe the generosity of the church will exceed even the great outpouring in the wake of the Asian Tsunami. Tens of thousands of volunteers will step forward in short term teams. And, like the aftermath of Tsunami, Katrina and Ike, many lives will be changed forever as they experience the love of God's people. In fact, in the wake of the earthquake, Haiti, a country in desperate need of spiritual awakening may have the greatest opportunity in its history to turn to the only source of eternal hope - Jesus Christ.
It is in times of tragedy that the church is at its best and the opportunity for evangelism at its highest. The compassion of God's people in times of great suffering is a model of the incarnation of Jesus who came to a world without hope, entered into our situation and brought eternal hope.
We ought to be praying that out of this horrific event, many would find eternal hope as they encounter the love of God's people who become His hands, feet, words, compassion and help. Human tragedy always becomes a divine opportunity and I know that the church will rise to the occasion in an amazing way. Governments can bring food and water. God's people will be bringing living water for years to come.