When Nations Collapse…
Marti Wibbels, MS, LMHC
Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry described his country as being “on its knees” after over 2,000 people were killed in Saturday's 7.2 magnitude earthquake. Many are joining Haiti, on our knees—praying for comfort for those who have lost loved ones, help for the injured, and hope for their nation. Guest blogger Leann Chong recounted being buried alive in Haiti on January 12, 2010, when another devastating earthquake occurred. You can read her story in our January 28, 2020, blog, “Trusting God in Small Things Prepares Us for Big Things!”
Sunday, Islamic militants captured Kabul, Afghanistan, completing their astonishingly swift takeover of the nation. The number of deaths there is still unknown. For people wounded and trapped in Haiti and Afghanistan, we need to remain prayerful!
We can pray for courage. The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1).
We can pray for God’s grace and mercy. We can pray the very last verse of the Bible, Revelation 22:21: The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen. As we pray, we can approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16).
We can pray people will regain their voice. Pray for writers and musicians, scholars, artists, and others to be able to speak, to be allowed to live.
We can pray for people to seek and find hope in Christ. Joni Eareckson Tada wrote, “The church in Afghanistan is the second fastest growing church worldwide.” Pray for these believers to have comfort and boldness in a time when many face torture and martyrdom. In Acts 8:3, Paul, still known as Saul, began ravaging the church, entering house after house, and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison. In Acts 9:1, Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, travelled toward Damascus to find people belonging to the Way. Jesus spoke directly to him: Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? Saul fell to the ground, was blinded, and had to be led by the men traveling with him to Damascus. He remained blind for three days. After God miraculously worked in Saul’s life, he became the one we know today as Paul (his fascinating story continues in the book of Acts and throughout the New Testament). God used a once-blatant enemy of Christians to proclaim Christ! Pray He’ll do it again.
Last week’s blog discussed the incredible work of the late Dr. J. Christy Wilson in Afghanistan. The C.S. Lewis Institute describes a time when Dr. Wilson drove a group of young musicians touring Afghanistan “to an unconventional tour site: the only cemetery in Afghanistan where ‘infidels’ could be buried. Stopping at the first gravestone, one that was worn with age, Christy explained, ‘This man worked here thirty years translating the Bible into the Afghan language. Not a single convert. And in this grave next to him lies the man who replaced him, along with his children who died here.’ Strolling among the gravestones, Christy told story after story about the early Christian workers in Afghanistan. The group leader later recalled, ‘It was one of the great moments of my life. I watched their faces as it suddenly dawned on these exuberant American teenagers that the amazing spiritual awakening they had witnessed was but the last step in a long line of faithful service stretching back over many decades.’”
Amidst the world’s trauma—from Afghanistan to Haiti to Lebanon—we can live in the hope God provides through Christ.
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil (Hebrews 6:19, NASU).