Haiti Bible Institute, February 25, 2014

How often does a guy get to sit on a porch overlooking a street lined with mango and palm trees set against a backdrop of mountains...and still have WiFi? 

Two hundred years ago the land I am enjoying was a beautiful, productive, economically self-sufficient nation. It was a tropical paradise. Then deceivers came to power and seduced the people back into what could very much be compared to slavery. New leaders promised change that never came. 

Then in January of 2010 an earthquake left much of Port-au-Prince, the nation's largest city, in ruins. The pastors who now attend Haiti Bible Institute saw tragedy that most people in the world will never have to experience.

Four years ago the place where I am sitting did not exist. The neighborhood was rubble. The whole region was in ruins. The world watched on television as the Haitian people lived a nightmare. Billions of dollars in international aid poured in. My visits in 2010 and 2011 left me wondering if the great "price" paid to rescue Haiti was being squandered by corrupt politicians and aid organizations.

When I came to teach in 2011 I observed some change. The road from the airport to the school had new Menard's-like and Walmart-like businesses. Both middle class and poorer people were building homes. Roads with craters that could swallow a Prius were being paved. Ambitious citizens, with government encouragement, started businesses to promote tourism and industry. A Haitian couple from Connecticut moved back home and built LaPepinierre Guest House

Please get my metaphors. I'm not saying that economic prosperity is the hope for Haiti. If I believed that I would not be doing what I am doing. I am saying that what has happened in this nation serves to underscore a much more powerful set of truths.

Creation. Fall. Redemption.

I am writing these words as I teach a Biblical Counseling class. My role is not to help pastors help people to "cope" or rearrange their choices to reduce consequences. My role is to demonstrate that the trouble people experience now was not the original setup. People were created to glorify God and seek their pleasure in Him and in the gifts He gave. We were programmed to be pleasure seekers but our pleasures collapsed when we thought we could find it outside the boundaries God had set. We ran into the arms of a reptilian master who promised better pleasure. My role is to show that the way back comes not through psychological sanctification but through the one Who bore the wrath of God to both pardon and purify His people.

Creation. Fall. Redemption.

Some of us follow that pattern in our worship services. We belt out songs like "I Sing the Mighty Power of God." Then we confess our sins and take communion. We sing again about "The Power of the Cross." We get refreshed as our pastors draw from the deep well of redemption's Book and we find hope.

Creation. Fall. Redemption.
For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. Romans 8:20-21, NASB

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