This photo is from a small Haitian shop near the WWV mobile medical clinic in Luly. During one of our trips this picture was taken and I was intrigued by the scripture that was painted on the front. In Haiti, the name of God is everywhere – on tap-taps, on storefronts and on the sides of schools. Brightly painted images of Jesus are on the backs of buses.
But why Exodus 14:14?
You might know the story. God’s people had been in slavery to the Egyptians for more than 400 years. God called Moses to help deliver His people. Moses said to Pharaoh, “Let my people go,” and after nine plagues sent by God, the Israelites are finally free to leave their lives of slavery in Egypt. Just as freedom is around the corner, Pharaoh decides to pursue the Israelites one last time. The Israelites are terrified as the Egyptian troops draw near. There was no way forward and they began to murmur against Moses and God for bringing them out of Egypt.
Exodus 14:10-14 “As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, ‘Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!’ Moses answered the people,
‘Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.’
The Israelites passed through the Red Sea on dry ground and God saved His people
from the Egyptians that day. Not unlike the Israelites who were suffering under the Egyptians, daily life in Haiti is not easy. There can be the uncertainty of where your next meal will come from, how you will provide for your family and how you will put a roof over your head. Many are without adequate housing, electricity and sanitation. On top of this, living life as a Christian in Haiti can also be a challenge. The presence of voodoo and the cultural norms of immorality can weigh heavy. With these pressures, many Haitian Christians are daily learning to rely on God, just as God commanded the Israelites. They are learning to “not be afraid,” to “stand firm” and trust that “the Lord will fight for you.”
Matthew Henry’s commentary on Exodus 14 reminds us that there are times that we may be troubled on every side. For the Israelites, “some cried out unto the Lord; their fear led them to pray, and that was well. God brings us into straits, that he may bring us to our knees.” Many of our teams have experienced this in the Haitian people – an unshakeable commitment to prayer. Crying out to God in times of trouble and praising Him for His faithfulness and provision.
This is one of the joys of serving with World Wide Village. We have the opportunity to walk alongside the local church in Haiti. We support them by bringing resources to help give greater understanding to the Word of God, while they encourage us with their reliance on God and their commitment to prayer.
Why Exodus 14:14? Because it’s a great reminder of a FAITHFUL God who answers prayer and who fights for ALL His people.