Advent Meditation

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Global Missions Blog

“Prepare ye the way of the Lord.
 Make a highway for your King,
 For your Lord is coming and his Kingdom is here among us.”

  Mountains rise steeply.
In Isaiah we are given a picture of mountains brought low and valleys filled, crooked ways made straight for the King who is coming.

In Haiti there is a saying, ”Beyond the mountains there are more mountains again”. It is true. They rise sharply to over 5000 feet, stark, rocky outcrops acting as barriers to communication, separating communities from one another, making road building impossible.

Crossing the mountains on rough track, coping with hazards such as falling rocks and mudslides became a reality for us, as we visited the  community at Jeremie. There are three ways to reach this town – by air in a 16 seater plane, a weekly open boat trip taking 12 hours by sea or 4 hours of bumpy road over the mountains, through cloud cover and fording rivers.

Rivers to be forded.
Work has started on constructing a road, but there is 40 miles of rocky  track to go.

But to bring the Kingdom, the Kingdom of God through healing, teaching and preaching, these mountains or difficulties need to be brought low. To meet the church people, to sing and pray together and laugh with the many children, was a joy. We heard more of their strengths, their commitment and resourcefulness but we were also made aware of their lack of written material for training and devotions.

We joined a mobile clinic held in a village church on a Saturday. All the pews were removed and carried outside. Dentistry was set up by the communion table. Children were reviewed in one area and breast examinations were in another. Men, women and children queued outside all day and through the expertise of Doctors and nurses, simple medication and prayer, healing was brought to these people.

John and Sharon Harbottle at the parsonage in Jeremie.
All through the week as every week, the main clinic in town continued to receive people locally and from the mountains. The day starts with prayer and hymn singing, and the Methodist Church offers the Kingdom of God through treatment and healing.

There are many mountains, physical and metaphorical. In the coming months through the grace of God, your prayers and giving, we will cross the mountains to share the signs of God’s Kingdom with his people in Haiti.

Sharon and John Harbottle

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