About one year ago, Butch Suddath and I returned to the United States from a mission trip from Asia on January 21, 2020. The news reports were trickling in about a coronavirus from China before we left, but it was mostly a dot on most people’s radar screen. The day we returned to the Atlanta Airport, the first confirmed case in the United States was announced with an individual in Washington state. It progressively grew worse.
Our lives have been rerouted by masks and social distancing but marked by those who have suffered and died. I have lost count of my friends and acquaintances who have died and many others who have been sick. My daughter and daughter-in-law were sick with it and thankfully they have recovered. It seems every family has been affected.
The world seems upside down. There are many who have anxiety about the future. In times like this we need to take a deep breath and think about the promises of God. He has promised to never leave us and has told us not to be anxious. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; / and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV).
Recently, I was on the phone with Pastor Baptiste in Haiti. His son Jude was sick with a fever; it sounded like coronavirus. Thankfully, he is better and back in school. Also disturbing was his description of the violence and lawlessness in Haiti at the present time. Kidnapping has increased in the areas in and around Port au Prince. He told of a young girl who was kidnapped by a gang as her parents carried her to school.
He also described Haiti as being like Somalia in East Africa (remember the movie, Black Hawk Down). In Haiti, he said, every day was a gift from God. When he rose to his feet in the morning, he thanked God for another 24 hours to live because they didn’t know if they would have another. The government does little to nothing to protect the people.
One of our international pastor’s wife’s grandmother has been very sick. She lives with the pastor’s family as often the case in many countries where the aged parents/grandparents are directly cared for by their families. She had a diabetic episode and was hospitalized. She returned home but subsequently died at home. The whole family was very saddened by the dear grandmother’s death. We pray for this family and try to help as we can.
We are helping our international partners by your blessings of financial help and prayers. The work of the Kingdom of God is going forth in the midst of troubles and this is when God’s people shine the brightest. The smallest lamp gives off a bright glow in the greatest darkness. Thank you for the fuel so the light of Jesus can shine bright in a dark world. Please pray for all these and others who like us face challenges every day.
Rejoicing in the salvation which is by grace through faith, I am…
Yours on the Journey,
Harry L. Whitt