(The following is an update from the second NHMI team that served in Haiti at the end of January. Led by Daryl and Vicki Baumann, one of the main priorities of this team was food distribution and village ministry.)
Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Mark 1:40-41
It is one thing to be willing to be stretched, willing to be uncomfortable, and willing to witness the poverty and pain of the masses up close and personal. But as you enter into the pain and suffering of the people, are overwhelmed with their needs, and moved with compassion, it leaves you forever changed and forever longing to make a difference. On our recent trip into Haiti, we experienced all of these afresh. Over and over the thought passed through my mind, “If only Jesus were here to reach out with His healing, transforming touch.” But gradually over the next four days, He revealed a powerful truth to all of us. He was there!
As bags of food were passed out to the elderly, the blind, and the crippled, we saw Haitian believers join with each other in singing choruses, praying, and sharing grateful words of thanks. We joined in prayer for the sick and suffering including a small boy with dangerous fluid pressure on his brain and numerous premature infants struggling to survive. We witnessed a huge smile brighten the face of a severely crippled teenage girl when I whispered in her ear, “Jesus loves you and so do we.”
We shared in the waves of joy and anticipation, sweeping through lives of hundreds of little Haitian children, as Christmas gift boxes were placed in their hands.We saw excitement in the eyes of church leaders when presented with Creole Bibles to distribute to their congregations. And in the depth of our hearts we clearly saw Jesus moved with compassion, stretching out our hands, touching their lives, and saying, “I am willing.”