“Behold I am doing a new thing: now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” —Isaiah 43:19
During VBS 2016 this past week, this vision was abundant. You might not recognize its power right off the bat. Looking around VBS at Cavaillon, Haiti, at the Cancer Redemption Campus (CRP), you would probably say to yourself, “These look like healthy, smart children who are growing up with loving parents.” And they are.
Sherri* is a talented artisan whose intricate weaving skills have been passed down for centuries. Her hands deftly thread the elaborate loom as her feet pump the threads back and forth. There’s a rhythm to her work: pump, swish, clank. A smile graces her face as she watches her son play at the side of the room, surrounded by a community of women and children who love them. They are at peace.
But life wasn’t always so safe and serene for Sherri and her children.
She was just a young girl coming to the city for the first time. The excitement and opportunities captivated her.
“I know that my redeemer lives and that in the end He will stand on the earth.” Job 19:25
The Easter message is a powerful story that many of us have grown up with and has woven into the fabric of our lives. But for millions around the world, their introduction to this message comes in drastically different ways.
She picked a small piece of trash from the dirt where she squatted on the side of a busy road. Beeping car horns, stray dogs and a hoard of people zig zagging across the lanes of traffic. She was silent, almost listless as her fingers moved along the ground. It was the same as before. Always the same.
Her mother was a short ways off, keeping one eye on her while she tried to sell firewood she had gathered that morning, the other eye desperate for a customer. Perhaps today she would make enough to buy them a real meal. The meager food they survived on was barely enough, and they both felt the depth of their plight.
As I’ve been sorting through pictures from VBS this year, I can’t help but smile as I see photo after photo of happy kids, basking in their carefree summer days and having so much fun together. I also can’t help but see great hope written on their faces – made all the more powerful when you know how much it has taken for this smile to grow.