Thoughts From Haiti…

For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? Matthew 16:26
I just recently returned from a ten-day stay in Haiti. I’m sure most have seen pictures of the poverty, and possibly sent finances when the world send disaster relief. Still, it is impossible for one to wrap their mind around the poverty in this nation until you see and experience it for yourself. It’s terribly humbling to see families starving, children without clothing, or mentally disabled children abandoned on the streets. I flew into Dallas TX straight from Haiti and it was almost surreal to step into some of these elaborate shopping centers… to see jackets that sell for thousands of dollars… enough to feed a Haitian village for months probably. It made me ask that question… what would a man give in exchange for his soul? Of what value is it to gain all kinds of temporal stuff at the cost of eternal things?

I found over my stay in Haiti I missed very little. I missed people, I missed my children, I missed my church body… but to my pleasant surprise I didn’t miss air conditioning. I didn’t miss television or music. To see people with nothing always brings me back to the roots of my faith… what is going to matter in eternity? What am I giving my energy, finances, and prayers to? Will it matter on the other side of this life?

I don’t want you to get the wrong idea… I’m not writing or preaching a poverty doctrine. I don’t believe it’s a sin to have, or that they are cursed/blessed because they lack. But I was amazed as we went from door to door to share the love of Christ in Haiti, nearly every home welcomed us with open arms. The people were not hesitant to share what religion they were. We met Baptist, Pentecostals, Catholics, and even a few who claimed voodoo as their religious preference. We even met a voodoo witch doctor who was ready to listen to us share our faith, and even receive prayer and offer us a chair. Contrast this with America… At Freedom Reigns we do some door-to-door outreaches and I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been cussed at, had doors slammed in our face… or at the very least been at the receiving end of a rude remark.

In America we may well be very prosperous financially… but I fear we are severely impoverished and malnourished spiritually. When Haitian witch doctors exercise more faith than professing Christians it’s a sad day. I challenge you to check your heart now. Have the cares of this life, the deceitfulness of riches choked what God desires to do in you? (Mark 4:19)

You say, “I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ – and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked –
Revelation 3:17

Pastor Jakob Barrientos

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