>Merry Christmas, everyone! As I celebrate with family and friends, I was soberly reminded by the real fact that Jesus was born into a world of tumult, instability, and great suffering. As I heard a lyrical poem during the song, “Do You Hear What I Hear?” I felt like my heart was going to burst over the God-man who willingly took our form, our life, and all the joy and pain that comes with it. He CHOSE to do so – Emmanuel.When I arrived home on Christmas Eve, I received this email from a friend who is in Haiti right now serving with Samaritan’s purse. I have been praying for her ministry there, and I ask that you would join with me. Here’s a portion of her letter:
i’ve never had a night like last night. we got 2 ambulances from an orphanage as our shift started, eight in all. i never even made it to my other assigned tent. All the kids have cerebral palsy and had terrible cholera. Their “caregivers” were alternating between sleeping and being borderline abusive. We just couldn’t keep up b/c they were having diarrhea every 30 min so as soon as we finished changing out diapers and sheets, it would start all over again. this was also accompanied by profuse, projectile vomiting. and even though it’s been 80’s in the day, it was freezing cold last night, and we ran out of blankets and sheets so the kids were shivering in their urine and watery diarrhea. it was terrible. two also kept having seizures but we had no medication. there were pulled IV lines, blown out IV’s, another who developed coffee like vomiting which was worrisome for a stomach bleed, a translator who had to be replaced b/c it turns out he was high on something, etc…literally, cholera is one of the most undignifying experiences I have ever witnessed. Nor could i have imagined how sick people get with this. We have been giving up to 50-60 liters of iv fluids in our adult patients to stabilize them! kids are getting as much fluid as an adult would in the us. so crazy. so exhausting emotionally and physically. please cont to pray.
I know that’s a real downer on Christmas, but isn’t that the climate that Jesus was born into? The vomit-filled, disease-ridden, diarrhea-laden, children-crying, body-shivering world? I don’t want to lose the reality of the Incarnation in the midst of white snowy landscapes, warm lights, and Christmas gifts around a tree. Those are one side of Christmas, for sure, but there is another as well.
As I felt the horror of my friend’s observations, something in me longed that Jesus would come again into this pain-soaked world to wipe it clean of cholera, poverty, suffering, and sin. I wondered if that’s what Simeon longed for, the shepherds, the faithful remnant of Israel, weeping mothers in Bethlehem, and a world lost in darkness. The fact is that He did come once, and he promised he will come again. Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus.
Merry Christmas to you all, especially to the orphans in Haiti. Hold on, your king is coming soon.