JOURNEYS

God Makes a Way

The Samaritan’s Purse team in Haiti feels God’s hand as overwhelming challenges are overcome

David Torres unloads supplies for distribution in Haiti. © Samaritan's Purse 2010

Volunteers from Samaritan's Purse pray for those in Haiti. © Samaritan's Purse 2010

Of my many deployments with Samaritan's Purse around the world, this has been one of the most challenging.

In most disaster situations we are able to use local means to get the job done: local vehicles, phones, supplies, etc. When we arrived in Port-au-Prince, the entire city—Haiti’s major center of commerce, politics, and communication—lay in rubble before us.

It was even difficult to get our chartered plane into the airport because of the chaos below. We eventually were able to descend through the dust enshrouding the city. The runway was the only operational piece of the airport. There was no customs, immigration, or personnel on the tarmac. It was like landing in an abandoned airfield.

But the biggest challenges lay ahead.

From the very beginning I knew things would not happen as quickly as I had hoped. Transportation and communication were completely lacking, so we didn't have the means to get supplies out to the areas needed. We gathered as a team in prayer because this was way beyond our capabilities, both individually and corporately.

It was at that time we were reminded that despite the overwhelming challenges and immense needs, God has promised that He would go before us and He would make things happen.

When Christ sent out the disciples, they must have felt the same way we did. They were given a mission and told to take no food or water, to leave their former lives and families, and go and do His work. I guess everyone on the Samaritan's Purse team could relate to that, but the hard part to swallow was in Mathew 10:8—the part where they were also to “raise the dead, cast out demons.”

Doing without supplies was easy, but doing miracles—the really big things—was way out of our league. It was that realization that changed everything for us. We knew that if anything was going to happen in Haiti through Samaritan's Purse, we would have to do it in His strength. We had to get in God's league.

From then on it started to change. Things … just happened! Things just worked out. Connections were made, doors were opened, supplies got to hurting people.

We felt God's hand as I’ve never felt it before in any response. It was unmistakable! It was firm! It was unequivocal!

People on the team just started moving in one direction despite our lack of communication equipment. The Holy Spirit was speaking to people independently who would then arrive at the same place, at the same time, without any phone or radio communication. Supplies almost literally landed in our laps, followed shortly by a pastor who needed those exact supplies!

It was as if everything was being orchestrated by a divine conductor. The artist was painting the masterpiece, and the brush knew nothing of what was going on. It was as if His perfect will was being carried out right before our eyes, and our talents, skills, and resources were incidental to what He wanted to accomplish.

For many days we rested in this divine orchestration. At night when we came together to wrap up the day, we would rejoice as each team member said how firmly we could feel His direction in every step we took.

It was a great feeling! But we know why this happened. This was in no small part due to the constant and focused prayer we know was coming from people who were all following our progress, from headquarters to small churches that had invested in us.

We were told that people were praying like never before. We were told that donations were coming in like never before.

Despite what may be said about the people of Haiti, it has become unmistakably apparent to us on the ground that we have a God of Mercy; a God of second and third and fourth chances. We have a God who wants to redeem His creation and bring them to Him, no matter how far any person, people, or nation strays.

Many have given up hope for this little country because despite the tremendous amounts of money, effort, and resources that are pouring in, Haiti just doesn't seem to get any better. There are even whispers that Port-au-Prince should be abandoned. Almost 200,000 Haitians have already loaded on buses and left.

The rational mind might be able to justify throwing its hands up in defeat saying, “Yes, nothing here is salvageable.” But not our God, for we are assured that His love is perfect and cannot be diminished or overwhelmed.

His love is not in our league, and we can rest in this.