Posted January 13, 2012 / 18 Tevet 5772


Special Report:
TorahBytes in Haiti

by Alan Gilman, Director
TorahBytes Communications

In his teaching the islands will put their hope. (Isaiah 42:4)

My eldest daughter has been working at the YWAM (Youth with a Mission) Base in Saint-Marc, Haiti since before the earthquake over two years ago. The leadership of the base asked me to speak at their three-day staff conference. Both my wife and I were there for about a week. The staff is made up of about 25 people, about half of which are native Haitians, the rest are mainly Americans, with a few from other countries.

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Saint-Marc is about 100 km (60 miles) north-west of the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince and has a population of over 160,000.

It was the first time that either of us were in a third-world country. We really didn't know what to expect even though we had heard so many stories from our daughter. What we saw was a society that has failed to grasp many of the basic principles of living that the Western world has been so blessed by, but is in danger of losing (that's another story). At the same time, I see that the Haitian people are just like any other people, made in the image of God, created to glorify his name.

Alan and Robin Gilman in St. Marc, Haiti, January 2012
My wife, Robin, and I overlooking Saint-Marc.

I was free to choose the topic for my talks, so I decided that we would do the whole Bible! Seriously, I felt strongly that an overview of the Bible would be the most beneficial. I have the impression that too few of us grasp the story of God and life that the Bible tells. By giving people a sound overview of God's overall plan in the Bible, we have an opportunity to see how we can more effectively fit into that plan.

The story of the Bible is the story of God's dealing with the curse that he brought upon the whole creation due to our first parents' sin. His remedy for sin and death was worked out through the calling of Abraham and the people of Israel, culminating in the coming of the Messiah of Israel and the sending out of the early Jewish followers of Yeshua. God promised that he would bless the world through Abraham's descendants. That blessing is what the Gospel is all about, the Gospel being the proclamation of the Messiah's coming.

As we toured the main aspects of the outworking of God's plan through the people of Israel, from time to time I would stop and focus on an aspect of God and life that is rooted in various portions of Scripture. I believe that it is when we teach the Bible in its context that its meaning is best found. Too often we start with our preconceived notions and then use Bible verses as proof texts.

The culmination of the three days of teaching was when one of the sons of the YWAM base's director asked me if I would be willing to be part of a Christian TV show that he does for a local station in Saint-Marc. The interview was to be in English with translation into Haitian Creole, just as the conference was. The interview focused on my explaining who the Jewish people are, their place in God's plan, and how Haiti fits into that plan.

As it turned out, the morning of the interview, the translator had gathered his family to pray for the Middle East and for Israel and the Jewish people in particular. He had really caught how God intended for believers from the nations to return the mercy they have received via the Jewish people back to them. So, instead of me answering the question of how Haiti fits into God's plan, I asked if the translator could answer that question as a Haitian.

You can watch the interview below. Most of it is in English. If you understand French you should be able to follow what the translator is saying.

Alan Gilman explains God's plan to bless the nations through Abraham's descendants on the Haitian TV program, Bon Fwi (Good Fruit).

On this, the second anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, please pray not only for their recovery, but that this beautiful island would be a blessing to the world and to the Jewish people in particular.

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