The Day of the Lord

by | Apr 25, 2024

Christi Gabhart grapples with conflicting emotions as she finds herself back in the safety of the United States while knowing that many in Haiti continue to suffer. Despite feeling grateful for their refuge, she struggles with the disparity between their situation and that of their Haitian friends and colleagues, who lack the means to escape.

How is it that hearing heartfelt expressions of love and care expressed by family and friends can produce feelings of real tension? Like a dear friend says, “Oh, I am so glad you are safe,” and in turn, that brings even the sensation of a guilty feeling.

There has been the need to be grateful that God provided refuge for us, even when so many of our Haitian co-workers, friends, and acquaintances have no choice or opportunity to ‘escape’ the troubled place in which they live. MAN! How can it be?

Many people who know us, know Many Hands, know the work God has called us to, have expressed it well… “I am glad you’re here, BUT I am sorry you’re here.” That kind of sums it up.

Amid these challenging emotions, Craig and I find ourselves wrestling with conflicting feelings of gratitude for our safety and guilt for the disparity between our circumstances and those of our Haitian friends and colleagues.

However, amidst these turbulent emotions, we’ve found solace in the unyielding hope offered by faith. A song based on Psalm 37, titled “The Day of the Lord,” has been particularly comforting, speaking to the current ‘wrestling’ of emotion in our hearts and reminding us of the promise of restoration and protection.

 (“The Day of the Lord” by Wendell Kimbrough)

What an encouragement to know… It’s not long till the Day of the Lord! 

Despite the withdrawal of Many Hands’ American staff from Haiti, our ongoing projects and programs continue to thrive. The recent ‘New Community Conversation’ series for Savan Tabak, led by our Spiritual Department, saw a remarkable turnout, showing hope for our commitment to serving the community. 

MH planned out the timing for the start of our ‘New Community Conversation’ series for Savan Tabak after the suspension bridge repairs were complete. Here the final touches are happening the very day of the FIRST in the series. 

Through ongoing communication with our team in Haiti, particularly with lead Chaplain, Pastor Jean-Ronel, we are reminded of the resilience and unwavering faith that continue to drive Many Hands’ work despite the challenges. I asked Jean-Ronel what he would say to encourage supporters of the work of Many Hands to not lose HOPE, and to STAY with us. 

He said, “I would like to show, despite the country’s difficulties, Many Hands ‘ap frape!’ is knocking it out. Even though things are hard, we continue to encourage and support people in the ways we are able. To our friends: Even though you hear so much bad news from Haiti, you must continue to support us, because as Many Hands, we represent the hands and feet of Jesus. ‘Bondye Beni Nou’ God Bless You All.” 

Jean Ronel recently led the Jean Boule staff in devotions to share how they utilize the Many Hands-produced “Plan of Salvation” book (pictured above). 

About Many Hands:

Many Hands is an Iowa-based nonprofit creating local and global life-transformation by strengthening families.  Established in 2008, the organization focuses on six key areas for transformation, including education, agronomy, leadership development, safe homes, medical assistance, and economic development. Each year, the organization reaches at least 25,000 people through their Haitian operations, IMPACT trips, and Many Hands Thrift Markets located in Grimes, Iowa, Indianola, Iowa, Merle Hay (Des Moines), Iowa, Clive, Iowa, and Spencer, Iowa. 

Many Hands is called to transform together, to be love in action, in a broken world. 

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With instability and violence threatening people, life in Haiti is harder than ever before. Starting at $50, you can make a real difference for families facing critical needs.