Haiti Bible Institute, February 18, 2015

"If you don't love people, you don't love Jesus."

These are the words of the lovely Samayra, my seven-year-old friend whose father owns our hotel. She was born in the US and attends an English-only private school here. She and I had some lively conversations when I was trying to get some work done in the hotel dining room.

In my last lecture today I did a "fly over" of the book of Hosea titled "Hosea, Redemption and Your Marriage." It teaches what marital love--and any love--ought to look like. One excerpt connected Hosea's purchase of his runaway bride with Peter's commission from Jesus after his denials:
In John 21 the resurrected Messiah walked with Peter next to Galilee and asked him a difficult question: “Do you love me?” In case you don’t know the story, this is similar to Hosea asking Gomer that question. Peter said, “yes,” but he used a weaker word than Jesus used. Jesus asked a second time and Peter responded with the same weaker word. Finally Jesus used Peter’s word and Peter realized that Jesus could see right through him. What helps us understand love in this text is that each of the three times Jesus called Peter to do something: “Feed My sheep.” Here is the point: whatever your level of love you need to do the loving thing. The test of love is not mustering the courage to express it verbally. Love is something shown. The test is in its outworking
Love is first what you do rather than what you feel. When kept in the right order the feeling that follows the action is true delight. Samayra's words certainly reflect why I am here and what I know should be the objective of all who claim to follow Christ.

Samayra must have heard John's words somewhere along the line: "If someone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen." 1 John 4:20, NASB

We are all done with exams here. Tomorrow I get to go home and put some love into action at my house.

Haiti Bible Institute, February 17, 2015

Today was very sober at our hotel. A tragic accident in Haiti's version of the Fat Tuesday (Carnival) parade left at least 18 people dead or wounded. A parade float apparently came in contact with a power line, which fell
fell to the ground, electrocuting some and sending the crowd into a panic that left some trampled.

Oddly enough, I am teaching Biblical Counseling 201, in which we covered the role pastors play in crisis counseling people who are suffering the saddest effects of life in a sin-cursed world. 

Here are some of the notes we covered regarding the way we respond to tragedy (which Haitians know so well after the events here January 12, 2010):

After looking around the globe, you need in times like these to consider the smaller-scale crises that are going to touch you. They will come. If you have not experienced great loss in your life, the primary reason is that you have not lived long enough. What should you do when tragedy like this strikes your life?
1.     Ask “Why?” The psalmists did so in the context of worship (Psalm 10, 22, 42, 43, 44, 74, 80, 88). This is not the same as assigning blame to God. That is blasphemy. Asking why, like Jesus did on the cross, can be a confession of weakness and submission to the Father’s decrees.
2.     Mourn. This is not a waste of time. Jesus said this is a blessed activity (Matthew 5:4). Only mourners can know the sweetness of the God of all comfort.
3.     Rehearse the attributes of God. You should do this before the next tragedy strikes.
·       Rest in the knowledge that He rules.
·       Delight in the knowledge that He is good.
·       Give thanks in the knowledge that He is merciful.

4.     Get back to work. God’s mission is all about Him, not about you. Elijah had to learn after a personal crisis that the “still, small voice” was not telling him anything new (1 Kings 19:13-16). It told him to finish the course.

Haiti Bible Institute, February 16, 2015

It's "plug" day (You thought it was President's Day, didn't you?). The two ministries I support personally and try to encourage when I go to Haiti each year are listed below. They are worthy of your prayer and financial support too.

On Target Ministry is an international ministry started by Dr. Jim Bearss, whose goal is to equip Bible students who wish to serve in their own countries as pastors, church leaders and servants. Jim travels to Egypt, Columbia, the Philippines and other nations working with Bible schools. Haiti Bible Institute is the first such institution started and fully funded by On Target. These students are working toward accredited degrees to use in church leadership. Each student is held accountable to achieve academically as well as take the course material learned here and teach it to others.

Wordsower International is a ministry started by Jason Nightingale. Jason travels the world using his dramatic gifts and massive reserve of memorized Scripture to encourage believers. His ministry has founded orphanages in Liberia, Ghana, Kenya, India and here in Haiti.

Haiti Bible Institute, February 15, 2015

Thank you for visiting. I will let my sample of the worship time today be the substance of today's report. 

Haiti Bible Institute, February 14, 2015

Scholars sweating the Hebrews exam
Happy Valentine's Day! I sent my bride a text message early this morning (a special privilege with my new cell provider) that said "Vous ĂȘtes mon amour." She did not respond yet. Hmmm.

Today was our first of two final exam days. That changed the teaching schedule and gave me time to sit on the roof in the sunshine grading tests. Last year a gust of tropical Haitian wind almost mercifully (for a few guys) swept some exams off the roof. I was more careful this year.

Some teachers do not worry that red ink may damage self esteem.
Today exam grading turned into a major score-juggling exercise. I had to show mercy to some by adjusting "weights" of parts of the grading. I was on the roof until it became too dark to see. I just finished the first lecture for my second course. I will insert some pictures of exam day and call it quits.

Watch for highlights of the always-memorable HBI worship time tomorrow.

Mountains and palm trees make grading time pleasant.