Friday, September 7, 2018

Devin's Funeral Sermon

Sermon Funeral of Devin Garrity
September 6, 2018
The Reverend J. David Knight

After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne…

Hold that image in your mind. A multitude too numerous to count, a whole hodgepodge of people of all kinds and colors and temperaments and abilities and ancestry and language. As far as you can see. Doing one thing. Worshipping the Holy One, at the throne of God, before the Lamb. There they are.

Devin picked this scripture passage, as he did all that we are doing today, including the music. I often am very curious about such choices. Why these words from Scripture? Why remind us from the Psalm that “our help comes from the Lord, maker of heaven and earth”? Why did Devin find comfort in Jesus’s proclamation that “I won’t send anyone away who comes to me”? 

Ponder that as you hold the image of the multitude before the throne. 

Clelia told me one of Devin’s high school friends wrote her when he heard Devin had died, and said this about his friend – Devin was a man with a quick wit and a good soul. I agree with Clelia, it would be hard to top that description. The 1st time I met Devin was when I had first arrived as Interim Rector at St. Paul’s Delray Beach, Florida. Clelia was there, serving as Deacon. We had a Saturday night service and one of the early Saturdays of my time there, I saw this guy, gray hair pulled back in a long pony tail, wearing a motorcycle shirt of some sort, sitting with some other obvious bikers. I was new enough not to know who was a visitor and who was a regular, so I approached this guy after the service and introduced myself. He just smirked and said he was a biker just passing through and decided to check out a church service. “How did you like it?”, I asked. He didn’t bat an eye, replying “I’ve seen better!”

Shortly there after Clelia walked up and said, “Oh I see you met my husband”! 

I said he told me he was a biker, and Clelia informed me that was true. Then Devin asked if I wanted to see his hog, so I followed him out to the courtyard where his faithful steed was parked – a little Honda scooter. Well at least it was was black! 

Quick wit. Good soul. 

It’s no secret the last years of Devin’s life were not easy. His health problems were myriad, he dodged Death for quite a long while. Even as dementia and congestive heart failure were taking a deep toll and he was nearing the end, he did request something very special. Devin asked to be baptized. He was a little obsessed, asking Clelia to track down any proof he had been baptized when growing up, and the church his family attended had no record of such. So he asked if he could be baptized now. 

Friends, there is no doubt of how much this meant to him. A few of us gathered at the nursing home and yes we baptized Devin. It is hard to put into words what that moment was like. There was a different kind of light in the room, there was a glow about and within him, he was more clued in to what was going on around him than I had seen in quite a while, and when I anointed him with the chrism, marking him as Christ’s own forever, you should have seen his face. 

As he received communion afterwords, something had shifted, something powerful and holy had obviously taken place, and it really all came from two sources – Devin and Jesus. The Holy Spirit was in and around and upon all of us but especially on Devin. “The Lord shall preserve you from all evil, it is even He that shall keep my soul”, says the Psalmist. “This is the will of the one who sent me, that all who see the Son and believe will have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day”. So says Jesus. So Devin believed, it was all over his face on that day. I won’t ever forget it. I am humbled and honored to have shared such a holy moment with him.

While Devin, at least the Devin I knew, wasn’t a man of a lot of words, he did have that quick wit. He also had the most amazing collection of music I have ever seen, and was very talented dealing with computers, he spent hours and hours on his systems, a real engineer type of brain working long and hard to get things the way he wanted them. He had that kind of mind that could look at a problem and envision how to solve it, and then do it. I kind of hate people like that! 

Although he wasn’t prone to long speeches I do recall one he made. It was right after Devin and Clelia had moved here. Y’all may remember that Clelia arrived with a broken ankle and Devin was not much more ambulatory than she was. It was you who rallied and took care of them. Several of you took turns driving them around, providing food, helping them get settled in their new place, doing all the things that people of God do when other people of God need help. 

After the dust cleared, Clelia invited all those who had helped out to their apartment to celebrate. And Devin made a toast. I think it surprised us all. He spoke so eloquently of what you all had done, what you meant to him and Clelia, how you had opened your hearts and your gifts to them. He said something along the lines of “we’ve never really been around people who welcomed us so unconditionally, people we didn’t even know at all, you were all so kind and so nice. This is the best place we’ve ever lived”! 

It was really phenomenal. I told Clelia this week, in some way he knew, in his spirit, in his soul, that they had come to the place where he could let go, knowing it would be good because this body of Christ, here at St. Simon’s, is good. That they would be ok, and more importantly, that Clelia would be ok. And he let us know that in his good soul, quick witted way.

The Psalm asked “from where does my help come?” John the Revelator says it’s there, waiting on you. And when you join the throng, John tells us, those before the throne of the Lamb will hunger no more and thirst no more and the Lamb will be their shepherd and he will guide them to springs of the water of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes”. 

Devin’s tears have been wiped away. And he has drunk from the waters of life, real life, true life, the life I saw on his face at his baptism, the life he spoke of at that party, life as God always intended for him. Now he has it! Where does my help come? Devin knows. He knows. And it is glorious.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

You are an evangelist too...

St. Simons on the Sound
August 19, 2018

John 6:51-58

These days I am an evangelist. My life, whether at church or in the community is devoted to evangelizing – to reconciling those whom I encounter to God.

What does that mean, you might ask. Perhaps you are shocked. Clelia is an evangelist? Clelia is evangelizing? Do we do that in the Episcopal Church? I thought evangelism was something  those "other" churches did. Surely, not us – surely, not us Episcopalians.

But, I am an evangelist – I really am – and whether or not you know it, you are too.

So, let’s take it apart – let's unpack it.

First of all what does it mean to reconcile people to God? Various synonyms for reconcile are: to reunite, to bring together, to restore to harmony. When we are doing the work of reconciling people to God, we are working to unite, or to reunite, them with God. We are working to bring them together with God. We are working to restore harmony in their relationship with God – to bring about their awareness of God's love for them, and the healing power of that love. A love filled with grace and forgiveness.

And then, what does that controversial word evangelize really mean?  
To evangelize means above all to bear witness to a transformation that occurs within ourselves once we allow Christ to abide in us and we in him.

Once Jesus has become the source of our life, we are called to give the gift of the life-giving Jesus to the world. Through us the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ takes on bodily, truthful expression. Through our relationship with Christ, we develop a way of being in the world that helps people come to the awareness that there is another way of being – a way not centered on preoccupation with self, a way that is not divisive, angry, violent and filled with hatred. Another way – a way that heals mind, body and spirit. A way that brings us together in love – the kind of love, the agape love, that Jesus had for us – the kind of love that God has for us.

Jesus proclaimed, Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4–5)  

The Christians of the first centuries summed this up by saying, “God became man so that man could become God!”

To evangelize does not mean standing on a corner with a bible in your hand and talking about Jesus to someone. Absolutely not. Evangelism is a way of being in the world – a way that brings the "other" to the awareness of the value he or she has in God’s eyes – to the awareness that they are loved by God. Evangelizing means communicating through your very being the words that God proclaimed five centuries before Christ: “You are precious in my sight, and I love you” (Isaiah 43:4).

Evangelism and its outcome of inspiring people to realize their worth in God’s eyes – the love that God has for them and the forgiveness, the salvation that comes along with that love - is not something optional. Paul put it quite succinctly when he said, “Woe to me if I do not evangelize!” (1 Corinthians 9:16)

For Paul, evangelization was the direct consequence of his commitment to Christ. As Paul understood it, through his presence among us – his incarnation and then his resurrection - Christ united us inseparably to God. Through our relationship with Jesus we are united with the divine – the flesh and the spirit become one.

No one should ever feel they are excluded from that union – excluded from the knowledge that they are a loved child of God.

Evangelization calls us to start with ourselves. It is first and foremost a way of life, a way of being in the world that occurs as our result of our "oneness" with Jesus Christ. A way of life through which that "oneness" transforms us into witnesses of the reality of God’s love. Once Christ abides in us and we in him, evangelization occurs unconsciously, effortlessly, through our joy in knowing that God has always loved us and will always love us and through the peace that comes from knowing that God is with us always.

Through our being one with God, Christ becomes both visible and credible in the eyes of those who do not know him. We become evangelists.

Today we heard yet another one of John’s Bread Discourses. Jesus says, "I am the bread of life that came down from heaven...Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me."

How, you may be wondering, do we as members of St. Simon's on the Sound link evangelism to Jesus' claim that he is the bread of life, and to our regular participation in the Eucharist. What does our gathering around God's table each Sunday really mean to us and for us. How does the eucharist transform us. Who do we become once the celebrant has proclaimed, "The Gifts of God for the People of God", and as we then receive the sacraments of bread and wine, as we participate in the gift of Jesus with us, among us, in us

Without question our participation in the Eucharist draws us into intimate relationship with Jesus. The flesh and the spirit are joined. Through our participation in the eucharist, we expereince the union of the human and the divine. We abide with Jesus and he abides with us. And, in receiving the life-giving gift of Jesus, we accept his love – we accept God's love for the world.

We become a people transformed. A people ready to go out into the world and to witness another way of being – a way of love, a way of forgiveness, a way that allows hope, a way that promotes healing, a way that gives joy, a way that brings the peace that passes all understanding. We become evangelists.

All of this reminds me of Roy, an African-American man, who died many years ago of AIDS. When I first met Roy I was working for an organization called AIDS-Related Community Services, better known as ARCS. ARCS was located just outside of New York City and was one of the first organzations to offer counseling and other services for people living with HIV/AIDS.

The year was 1990. As you may recall, in 1990 people living with HIV/AIDS were seen as modern day lepers. No one wanted anything to do with them. We at ARCS could not identify one doctor or one dentist in all of Westchester County who would allow any of our clients in their offices.

In order to meet the medical needs of a growing number of men and women who were dying without care and alone, the local hospital rented a house and converted it into a hospice for people living with AIDS. It was their goal to give each and every person as much dignity as possible and to keep them active for as long as their disease permitted.

Enter Roy who was assigned to ARCS as a volunteer. Roy looked much older than 32. He had lived a hard life. Roy told us that he had been on the streets since the age of seven. He had become addicted to drugs in his early teens. He had contracted AIDS through sharing dirty needles while injecting Heroin. Clean and sober now, AIDS had taken a huge toll on Roy. His body and feet were covered in lesions that occur as a reult of AIDS-related Kaposi’s Sarcoma.

Clearly Roy was continually in pain, but he was persistent in his efforts to be of use wherever and whenever possible. His favorite task was Xeroxing – he contiunally marveled at the ins and outs of our Xerox machine and its capabilities."

We all came to love Roy. Our office was large and staff numbered about 35. Roy knew each and every one of us, and we him.

On what was to be his last day with us, Roy sat down in my office and said, "You know, I never had a family before. But, now I do. You are my family, and it feels good.."

The next day Roy was admitted to the hospital. He died three days later.

The funeral, held several days later in the equivalent of a Potter’s Field, was attended by over ten of the ARCS staff.

The ARCS‘ staff, while not a religious group, was a group of people filled with love and compassion. We were all, every single one of us, intent on witnessing the love and respect that we had for each of our many clients. Many of us sat with them for hours as they died, slowly and painfully, and alone.

Our journey with Roy, and so many others, represents to me the epitome of evangelism. The epitome of inspiring people to realize their worth in God’s eyes – the love that God has for them and the forgiveness, and the salvation that comes along with that love. I will never forget Roy and the gift that he gave us as he allowed us to love him. We were in Roy and he was in us. The gift of God’s love brought us together in peace, in joy, and a better way to walk beside those individuals living with HIV/AIDS.

In 1 Thessalonians Paul says, "So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us." (1 Thessalonians 2:8)

That is the essence of evangelism – the evangelism that you and I are in the business of carrying out as we leave St. Simon’s each week. We are determined to share not only the gospel of God, but also ourselves, because the world has become very dear to us. Because we want to give witness to the reality that there is another way of being. A way of being that is not based in divisivness, anger, violence, and hatred. A way of being that is based in compassion, in foregiveness, in love.

We are showing the world that there is another way of being, and if we shine the light of that way so very brightly, those living in darkness will want to join us. We will have fed them the Bread of Life.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

No Going Back...

The phrase “no going back” when considering my 20 years of work in Haiti has taken on quite a few meanings for me in the past few weeks. Taken literally, there may be “no going back” at this point in time because of the extremely volatile and dangerous political situation coupled with the possibility that the priest in charge of Martel, where we are now working, may be moved, leaving this community under the guidance of a new priest – one who has yet to form any relationship with our team, or with the community to which he is assigned.

Martel is hours from civilization – we go there only confident in the safety that the current priest in charge, Pere Phanord, provides. Without his presence, work in this tiny, remote community may not be possible for us Americans.

That brings me to another “no going back.” We have established a strong relationship with Martel. We have been in partnership with them for over five years, with multiple visits each year. We have provided much needed prevention education and healthcare to over 2000 unduplicated community members. There is most certainly “no going back” on our commitment to Martel.

Our commitment in this work has always been to develop a locally sustainable preventive health and primary health care program. While doing this work, we have tried to imagine, with them, the end-goal of what will happen when “we are no longer here.”

With this in mind, from the outset we identified and incorporated into our team well-trained and very talented Haitian doctors and nurses. These men and women are now trusted caregivers in Martel, and they are committed to providing ongoing monthly visits to this tiny, remote community. They are quite clear that, for them, there is “no going back” on their commitment to the residents of Martel, just as we are quite clear that there is “no going back” on our commitment to continue to fund the costs of this modest but critically important healthcare program.

So, while there may be “no going back” physically, there is most certainly “no going back” on our commitment to these brothers and sisters who live in Martel and the brothers and sisters who have vowed to care for them. We will continue to send the funds required to maintain an effective level of prevention education and primary health care in Martel, Haiti.

We love so very deeply our companions in Haiti. It is a love that burns in our hearts and humbles us in all ways as we consider our great fortune as citizens of the United States of America. More importantly, our Haitian companions have taught us to see God through very different lenses, and to experience a way of walking with Christ that has been life changing. For us, this a truly another, and perhaps the most important, “no going back.”

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Why engage in global mission?

Why Engage in Global Mission?

The Rev. Deacon Clelia Garrity

"Why engage in global mission when there are so many needs all around us in our local community?"

Most of us have been asked this question and perhaps have struggled to answer it. Our nation grapples on a daily basis with issues of diversity, multiculturalism, immigration, religious apathy and isolationism.

Why are intercultural relationships so essential to our Christian discipleship? Global Episcopal Mission Network has gathered ten quotes from their recent conference held at Virginia Theological Seminary and from other sources that will give you food for thought as you answer this question for yourself and for others.

Ten reasons to engage in global mission:

1. "We go into mission to meet the other, where God is present. Not because there are needy people, or to plant a church, or to teach. But we go to meet Jesus there. Thinking we are missionaries, we become disciples. We go to meet God, who is already present in the other."
2. "No single part of the world contains a complete understanding of God - only together do we have it..."
3. "It takes the whole world to know the whole gospel."
4. "We can never know how fully who God is, we can never understand the mission of God, until and unless we are able to hear it from those in other contexts..."
5."To reduce mission simply to a local or even national context is to isolate ourselves from the voice of God's grace across difference."
6. "We are looking at mission as pilgrimage - seeing Christ in the other."
7. "The 'other' is part of our family that we do not already know."
8. "To know only one's own church, diocese or nation is to limit oneself to an incomplete revelation of the vast and varied witness of the full body of Christ - gifts that we all desperately need to receive from one another."
9. "Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ...the eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!"
10. "I have gifts you do not, and you have gifts I do not. We need one another to be fully human. We lose our strength if our diversity is taken away."

A June 2018 Haiti Medical Mission Team member & her new friends

Monday, July 9, 2018

Don't Let Your Boat Rock

St. Simons on the Sound
July 8, 2018

Mark 6:1-13

Two weeks ago, I was in Haiti, where our medical team spent five days in the remote areas of Bondeau and Martel. Let me stress the adjective remote.Bondeau and Martel are not towns or villages; there are no cars, buses, motorcycles or bicycles; there is no electricity; no TV, radio, or newspaper; and, of course no Internet. In Martel there is no water - none at all.

People live in one room dwellings. Frequently they have no beds, only the dirt floor to sleep on. For the most part, people have enough food for only one small meal each day. They walk miles whenever they need to access civilization and the meager services it offers in rural Haiti. The nearest resources such as a grocery store or medical clinic (that may, or may not be open), are 10-15 miles away. A long walk in 90 plus degree heat.

The people of Martel live in a world far different than ours. One that is literally impossible for us or, at least for me - to comprehend.

It was in that world that I began the journey of writing this sermon.

We arrived in Haiti on Saturday afternoon, and on Sunday morning, bright and early it was already 90+ degrees we attended Bon Samaritain Church in Bondeau, where I acted as both deacon and preacher. Directly following the two plus hour church service we began preparing for our three days of clinic. We sat outside in a partially shaded area packing pills and sorting through medical supplies, such as surgical trays, bandages, etc.

After lunch, I spent my time on the guesthouse porch drinking water and cooling down. I had become very overheated during church and directly after as we began the clinic preparation process. Something inside me said - “take it easy…”

As I sat in a rocking chair contemplating the trees swaying ever so slightly in a most blessed breeze and watching small whitecaps bounce on the aqua green Caribbean Sea less than a mile beyond the tree tops, I began the work of reflecting on todays Gospel reading. I felt guilty about not being with the rest of the group while they continued to prepare for the clinics. And, me, being me, - I needed to work on something. So, why not begin to sort out my upcoming sermon.

Just that morning I had been given the honor of preaching, in French, at Bon Samaritain Church. The Gospel for the day was Marks story of Jesus falling asleep in the boat as his disciples rowed across the Sea of Galilee. If you remember the reading, you recall that when a storm suddenly blew in, as so frequently happens in that particular sea, the boat they were managing began to rock wildly. The disciples were terrified. They looked over at Jesus for help and could not believe that he remained sound asleep amidst the turbulence of the sea and the howling of the wind.

In a panic they cried out, Jesus, dont you care that we may die in this terrible storm?

Once awakened Jesus calmed the sea and looked over at his disciples saying, Why are you afraid Do you not have faith?The disciples looking out at the becalmed sea were stupefied stupefied by the instant calming of the sea - stupefied by the power of Jesus.

The point that I made in my Haitian sermon was that when we have faith, the power of Jesus to light our way, to calm our rough seas is stupefying absolutely stupefying. But, it is also stupefying how easily we lose sight of that power when, in the face of life’s challenges, our boat is rocking wildly. It is so easy to lose faith in the power of Jesus so easy. And, when we lose faith, we lose the power that lights our way, that calms our rough seas. When we lose faith we enter darkness, uncertainty, anxiety, anger we fall away from God.

So, it was there sitting on the porch, slowing rocking and cooling off, that I began to seriously reflect on the phrase - the stupefying power of Jesus.

Fast forwarding to todays gospel reading, Jesus continues to astound to stupefy.  Today, we find Jesus teaching in his local synagogue. The crowd is noisy and disrespectful. They shout comments of disbelief that this carpenters son this common person - could possibly have the authority with which he speaks and the power to heal the sick that he has demonstrated.

They are stupefied by his wisdom and his healing powers. Yet, they take offense at him - and they are threatened by him - by his power and authority. They criticize him and belittle him. They reject him as a sham and a threat to their comfortable position of power and authority within both the synagogue and the community.

Looking around at villagers that he has known all his life, Jesus also was stupefied. He was amazed at their disbelief at their lack of faith. After doing what little he could by healing the few who had opened their hearts to his power, he made the decision to move on. His mission from the Father clear bring the Good News to all. Never looking back, he moved on to other towns, other places to seek out, to teach, and to heal those who would open their hearts and their minds to his message. To the love, forgiveness, and salvation of God.

Jesuscampaign to spread the Good News the Gospel ramped up quickly. He entered many towns, teaching and healing all the way. Soon, he saw that it was time to send forth his disciples to augment his work to reach as many people as possible. Jesus understood that his own time in the world was short and his message urgent. he needed to keep moving and he needed help - he needed the hearts, hands, and feet of his disciples to participate in this mission of spreading the Good News, the Gospel, far and wide.

Jesus gathered his disciples and instructed them in their new task, and ordered them to travel light - no frills, no extras - just the bare bones of a travel kit - nothing to slow them down. He sent them in pairs so that they could support each other in this perilous and uncomfortable journey. And, finally, he ordered them not to waste time with those who had hardened their hearts to God. He commanded, "If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them."

In other words, don't let your boat get rocked - stay calm, experience peace, and get on with your job of proclaiming the Good News.

The disciples obeyed. "...they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. They cast out many demons and anointed many with oil who were sick and cured them.”

These brave souls, sent by Jesus with supplies barely sufficient for more than a day or two at a time - these brave souls, Christ’s first disciples - and Christ himself - are models - models for all of us who sit here in this church and in churches throughout the world.

We are here to follow in their footsteps - to take hold of the stupefying power of Jesus and to use it to calm the waters of a very troubled world. A world experiencing very rough seas. We are the ones to calm the sea, to bring love and peace, to support those who have no faith and those whose faith is troubled and staggering as their boat rocks wildly in turbulent times.

We are the missioners - the disciples - of the here and now.

Christian mission - the activity of sending and being sent in Christ - is grounded in the missionary nature of God as revealed in scripture. In creation, God reached out to create communities of life. With Israel and throughout history, God has moved to restore people to unity with God, with one another, and with all creation. In Christ, God is still on mission in the world through the Holy Spirit. Our call as disciples of Christ is to join God in that mission.

The central act in Gods mission is Gods self-sending in Jesus Christ, the word made flesh and dwelling among us in love. The reign of God that Jesus announced: this we are called to proclaim and enact in mission. The love of God that Jesus expressed in presence, compassion, healing and justice: this we are called to live in mission. The reconciliation that God offers a sinful and broken world in Jesusdeath and resurrection: this is the hope we offer to the world in mission.

Sitting on a rocking chair in the 100-degree heat, sipping a warm bottle of Culligan water, and looking out at a community of people who literally have nothing made it far easier for me to imagine Jesus and his disciples in the deserts of Israel.

Being with the people of this barren community as they worshipped in church earlier that day, singing and praying loudly and with such fervor. Listening each morning as our Haitian doctors together with their patients sang prayers praising Jesus prior to receiving medical care. All of this made if far easier to understand the concept of looking to Christ for calming one’s turbulent seas, for experiencing peace, and for maintaining faith that God is always present with us - always there to lean on, to be loved by, to give strength to those who suffer.

All this brings me to my final moment of contemplation as I sat on the guesthouse porch rocking and thinking about the uncomfortable heat and the myriad of hardships that we would all experience in the next few days. As I sat there, finally cooled and ready to rejoin our team, it struck me that Jesus never experienced the fears and anxieties of a rocking boat. And, I thought to myself - of course, that is what Jesus was asking of his disciples and is asking of us - don’t let your boat rock as you go into the world to spread the good news - be calm, have courage, experience peace, give and receive love, have faith.

O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth and sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near: Grant that people everywhere may seek after you and find you; bring the nations into your fold; pour out your Spirit upon all flesh; and hasten the coming of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN. BCP

Monday, July 2, 2018

Quand le mer est agite

Eglise de Bon Samaritain
Bondeau, Haiti
June 24, 2018

Bonjour mes amis. Je suis tres heureux d’etre avec cette communaute de Bondeau encore une fois. Comme toujours j’ai amene de nouveaux amis d’Amerique. Sam, Michelle, Parisa et Pam. Je pense que vous conaissez tres bien Dr. Pej qui a ete ici en avance beaucoup de fois.

Bien sur, nous avons aussi nos members de l’equipe Haitienne – Dr. Rudy, Dr. Rolph, Dr. Nerly, Richard, Sissi, Jessica and les etudiants de l’ecole d’infirmieres, FSIL – Rebecca et Diane.

Nous sommes ici – l”equipe entiere – pour vous et aussi pour le communaute de Martel. Nous vous apportons des informations sure les maladies dangerouse et des medicaments pour ameliorer votre sante. Nous voulons traivailler avec vous faire des communautes de Bondeau et de Martel communautes tranquil et remplis de bien-etre.

Il n’est pas possible attiendre ces objectifs sans la foi. La foi que notre Siegneur, Jesus Christ, est avec nous toujours – toujours. Il n’y a jamais un moment de nos vies dans laquelle nous sommes seul – Jesus est avec nous – dans la jour et dans la nuit. Il marche a cote de nous pour tout notre vie.

Aujourd’hui nous avons entendu l’histoire des disciples qui sont dans un bateau avec Jesus. Jesus est fatigue, il dorm pendant les disciples font le voyage travers la mer de Galilee. Tout a la fois le mer devient tres agite. Les disciples ont peur. Il croient que ils vont se noyer. Ils l’ont reveiller et lui ont dit, “Jesus, ne vous souciez pas que nous perissons?”

Jesus s’est reveille, calme la mer et leur a dit. “Pourquoi as tu peur? As-tu toujours pas de foi?” Les disciples etait stupefies par le pouvoir de Jesus.

Pour moi-meme, je suis aussi toujours stupefie par le pouvoir de Jesus. Mais, , je suis aussi stupefie a quelle frequence nous obilions ce pouvoir. Dans ce monde qui est si fragile, si remplis avec de pauvrete et de suffrance, c’est tres facile d’oblier que Jesus est a cote de nous, pour nous guider et a nous aime. Et quand nous l’oblions nous sommes perdus. Nous marchons dans l’obscurite.

Etablir une bon programme de soins de sante dans les communautes de Bondeau et de Martel c’est un peu comme voyager dans un bateau sur une mer agite. Il y a beaucoup d’obstacles – d’argent, la distance entre les Etats Unis et Haiti, l’absence d’une systeme medical efficace pour les peoples d’Haiti, etc.

Mais, si nous pensons seulement a nos problemes, nous serons perdus. Il est tres important de reconnaitre nos cadeaux et de les utilizer a la gloire de Dieu.

Si nous nous souvenons que Jesus est toujours avec nous, si nous trailvaillons ensemble dans la foi, la lumiere de Jesus et la puissance de l’Esprit-Sante nous guideront vers le succes.

Dieu a donne a la communaute de Bondeau et a la communaute de Martel des amis qui ont aide a founir l’eglise, l’education, et une systeme de soins de sante. Maintenant ce sera tres important pour ces communautes d’etablir un systeme interne pour s’agrandir ces cadeaux.

Ceci ne sera pas facile. Cela signifie que vous devez travailler en collaboration avec vos dirigeants et Pere Phanord a apprendre bien a prendre soins a vous-memes et a votre voisin. En travaillant ensemble vous devez faire grandir vos cadeaux, quel que soit les defis auxquels vous serez confronte.     

Alors, c’est tres important de vous vous souveniez quand la vie deviant difficile, quand votre bateau bascule dans les mers agitees, c’est tres facile avoir peur – d’abondonner vos projets d’education et de soins de sante – c’est le moment de se souvenir de Jesus.

Quand nous tenons Jesus dans nos coeurs, la foi gagne. Nous sommes en mesure de reussir tous les projets sur lequel nous tralvaillons – meme le projet pour l’education et de soins de sante a Bondeau et a Martel.

Quand je suis chez moi aux Etats Unis, je pense a vous tout le temps. Vous etes dans mes prieres constament. Chaque foi que je rentre a Bondeau et a Martel je suis si heureux.

Aujourd’hui je prie que nous tous – tout le monde, moi aussi – souvenons toujours du pouvoir de Jesus et gardez notre foi dans ce pouvoir dans nos coeurs pour le courage - toujours. AMEN