REDEMPTION

excerpt from page 35, Glimpses of Hope, a collection of devotionals

Doug Isch, LSM President


 

Rose’s day started out like any other on January 10, 2010. But unlike the rest of the routine days of her eight-year-old life, this day would change the course of her life forever. At 4:53 pm the walls began to shake as a 7.0 magnitude earthquake shook Port au Prince, Haiti and the surrounding regions until an estimated 300,000 people were killed and over a million people were forced from their homes. Tragically, Rose’s parents were both killed in the earthquake. As her world turned upside down she was moved nearly five hours away to live with an aunt.

 

 

Rose doesn’t talk much about the events of that day or how she dealt with the grief that had to grip her. How does an eight-year-old process this kind of devastation and loss? For many living in extreme poverty this would have been one more chapter in a life of disappointment and loss, but Rose’s story takes an unexpected twist. Unbeknownst to her, thousands of miles away a young man named Zach Bertsch was diagnosed with terminal cancer at almost the same time she moved in with her aunt.

 

Zach’s heart and passion was to redeem his cancer for God’s glory. Rose is one part of that redemption story. Rose was selected to become a part of the Moriah Home of Hope family on the Redemption Campus. Rose is now going to school, attending church, growing up with a new mom and dad and has 11 sisters to live life with.

 

 

To redeem something means to free it from what distresses or harms it.

 

Major steps have been taken in Rose’s life to free her from the pain and distresses she has experienced. But her past is still her past and she will always have tragedy as part of her story. As we have seen many times, God uses the pain of the past to help us become more like Jesus. Rose’s story won’t fully be redeemed until Jesus returns and God finally wipes all the tears from our eyes. What we see now are some of the first fruits of that redemption story. I am so excited for Rose to see her parents again and introduce them to the couple who raised her in their place and to meet Zach and share with him the beauty that was brought from the tragedies of both of their lives.

 

Revelation 7:17 – “For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all the tears from their eyes.”

 


GET INVOLVED:

  1. Order your copy of Glimpses of Hope here.
  2. Learn more about the ongoing work of the Redemption Campus and our Homes of Hope here.

 

A Day We’ll Never Forget

 

January 12, 2010 is a day we’ll never forget. News reached the United States of a catastrophic 7.0 magnitude earthquake hitting Port-au-Prince and the surrounding areas of Haiti. Over the coming days, the world watched in horror as more and more people were dug out of crumbled buildings and the death toll continued to rise.

 

Every Haitian knew someone who was lost in the earthquake. Although LSM’s Home of Hope families were hours away in Les Cayes, many neighbors, friends and relatives had moved to Port-au-Prince, where they would never see be seen again.
earthquake 2

 

Joslyn* was in the epicenter—only four years old and living with her mother when the earthquake hit. The earth shook, buildings collapsed around her … and somewhere in the mayhem, she lost track of her. She screamed until she had no voice left. And finally, when her mother did not come, she sat, covered in concrete dust, watching in horror as the world around her seemingly fell apart.

 

Joslyn faced many challenges in the coming years because of the trauma she experienced that day.  

 

earthquake in Haiti

 

After the earthquake, a pastor’s wife found her and tracked down her father, who was still alive in Southwest Haiti. But her father wanted nothing to do with her. She ended up staying with an aunt who struggled to provide enough to feed her even a meager meal. By God’s grace, LSM staff found her and brought her into a Home of Hope family.

 

Seven years after the earthquake, Joselyn still remembers with startling clarity the night she lost everything she’d ever known. But it’s not the end of her story.

 

earthquake 1

 

We believe God can redeem not only her personal tragedy, but also millions of other Haitians who are still physically and emotionally recovering from the life-changing earthquake and the natural disasters since then. Through an outpouring of Christian love and support, we can help them pick up from the destruction and live with purpose.

 

It starts on your knees. Please remember to pray for the country of Haiti today as they, on the anniversary of that tragic day, remember all that was lost and, look towards the heavens to all that can be regained.

 

Please join us in leaving a prayer in the comments or sharing some of your experiences helping with the disaster relief in the months following the earthquake. We’d love to hear from you!