Haitian Refugees on Bahamian Land

Last week, our Reel-Life mission team served beautiful Haitians living in the Bahamas, on a land not their own, with bulldozers posed to level their homesteads and churches in sixteen short days. We were not presumptuous enough to tell a foreign country how they should conduct their internal affairs. We are not naïve enough to believe simple solutions exist for handling complex land disputes. It is impossible, however, to ignore the human element involved in situations like holding hands with friends on the doorsteps of their homes that are soon to be demolished. That was a gut-wrenching experience no matter how they got there. While I don’t have a solution, I firmly believe that God does. The Gospel of Christ has the power to achieve much more than we can ever dream, think or imagine, as the Bible promises. Eph. 3:20

Philip Yancy describes the days following Apartheid when Nelson Mandela was installed as President of South Africa. There was a crisis: How would the sins of Apartheid be healed without civil war? Bishop Tutu became head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He decreed that if any policemen or soldiers came forward and freely confessed to the evils they had committed, they would not be executed or tried in a court of law.

Some policemen tried it. One came to court and confessed in front of the woman he had sinned against. He said, “10 years ago, I broke into this woman’s house, took her son, and beat him until he was dead, then burned his body to cover up the evidence. 8 years ago, I broke in again and took her husband, who would NOT quit being a voice against Apartheid. We held him in prison for 2 years and then finally killed him and burned him. The judge turned to the lady and said, “What would you have me do?” Listen to what she said:

(1).  Make him show me the place where my husband was burned so I can take some of that soil and give my husband a proper burial.

(2).  I am old woman, but I still have love to give. He has stolen every person from me that I love. So force him to come eat dinner at my house once a month and let me show love to him, because I have no one else to love.

(3).  This man brought me to see my husband bound and beaten, and in that state, my husband said, “Forgive them!” So I ask that you ask this man to hug me so I can hug him and make him know he is forgiven.  

In a million years you could never explain a story like that apart from the transformational work of the Holy Spirit. How in the world did a distraught, bereaving widow do such things? That’s not humanly possible you might think, and I would agree, except by the power of the Almighty who said, “I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” Jeremiah 32:27

If our Lord can provide safe passage through impassible rivers and tempest seas, if He can heal incurable wounds in an instant with the stroke of His word, if He can use a mourning widow to help end the travesty of Apartheid, well He certainly has the capacity to bring resolution to a heartbreaking situation in the Bahamas. But will you ask Him for it?

The call to action is both clear and urgent. The most powerful thing you can do is pray. Never say, “It’s the least I can do,” as it diminishes prayer’s forcefulness. Instead, imagine the impact of waking up to a headline like “Peaceful Settlement Reached in the Bahamas,” knowing that your intercession was instrumental. The best advice I can leave you with comes from Job 5:8-9: “If I were you, I would appeal to God and would present my case to Him. He does great and unsearchable things, wonders without number.”

For more info, contact missionaries Bill and Teresa Landers at landers@missioncma.com

Jesus said, for those who have ears to hear, let them hear.


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