On Wednesday, October 5th our WWV medical team headed out to Luly to assess the damage after the hurricane. We knew there were nearly 100 people seeking shelter in Pastor Chrisner’s church. WWV had already financially helped to provide these villagers with food and water during the storm. When we arrived at Pastor Chrisner’s church, we were asked to set up a mobile medical clinic to serve those in need of medical care.
That day, one of our pastors from Iowa (Ray) and fellow team member (Nick) met with a man named Denny who had come into our mobile clinic. Denny is a fisherman and has seven children and a large extended family living in Luly. Because our medical clinic provides medical care and soul care, our team members asked Denny about his spiritual life. Ray and Nick learned that many of Denny’s family members are Christians, and Denny will often attend church with them, but Denny has never made the decision to put his faith and trust in Christ. Denny listened intently and smiled as our team members shared how Jesus’ first followers were fishermen. Ray and Nick clearly spelled out the gospel and how being a follower of Christ is not just about attending church.
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved…. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:4-5; 8-9
After sharing the gospel, Pastor Ray recounts what happened with Denny. “I asked Denny if he understood the gospel presentation, and he said yes. Nick then suggested that we ask Denny if he wanted to accept Christ and follow him. So we did, and Denny said yes. Denny prayed to receive Christ! Shaking his hand, I said enthusiastically, “Welcome to the family of God!” We encouraged him to continue to attend church services, to talk to God in prayer, and to read the Creole New Testament we gave him. We also introduced him to Pastor Chrisner to ensure that someone would follow up with Denny.”
(Pictured left to right: Pastor Chrisner, Pastor Ray, Denny, Nick, Ahmad (WWV Translator)
“Reflecting on my day, I realized how God orchestrated Denny’s salvation and how He used the hurricane to do so. Because the hurricane’s effects made fishing bad, Denny and other fishermen did not go out on the water as normal. Instead, they came to the Luly clinic to receive medical care.”
While this might not answer the question of why hurricanes occur, we can definitely see God’s hand at work amidst the chaos and tragedy. God was at work in in the life of Denny, a Haitian fisherman who is now a part of the family of God.
“Some went down to the sea in ships,
doing business on the great waters;
they saw the deeds of the Lord,
his wondrous works in the deep.
For he commanded and raised the stormy wind,
which lifted up the waves of the sea.
They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths…
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
He made the storm be still,
and the waves of the sea were hushed.
Then they were glad that the waters were quiet,
and he brought them to their desired haven.
Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
for his wondrous works to the children of man!”