The Times Journal & Russell County News
Wednesday, Apr. 23, 2014 — RUSSELL SPRINGS & JAMESTOWN, KENTUCKY — russellcounty.net
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Thoughts from the Lower 40: Shaken and Stirred
In Jan. 23 Issue
Russell County News
By Wade Daffron, Columnist

I’m easily confused.

Sometimes think I’ve got a handle on something, then later learn I’m clueless.

Last week, when I heard about the massive earthquake in Haiti, I dismissed it as a 20-second news blurb coming out of a radio speaker.

Being without television, (which I still think was a good move) I wasn’t exposed to the images of pain, suffering, and destruction.

I did hear about the things evangelist Pat Robertson said, but just couldn’t form an opinion one way or the other.

I failed to follow the story on the news for a few days, but at church Sunday, much of the message was about the earthquake, and the local “connections” to the stricken nation.

That got my attention.

It was sobering to learn a handful of Russell Countians were in Haiti doing mission work when the earthquake occurred.

And I actually knew these people, too.

When images from the aftermath were shown, I was among those in the congregation who gasped out loud.

I had no idea…

I felt ashamed for not feeling more compassion, for not praying, for not making plans to help as others had been.

Many people-including our pastor-were moved to tears.

But the sadness and despair gave way to a feeling…the feeling of what it means to be a Christian.

All across the sanctuary, I could see people digging in billfolds, purses and pockets for an offering.

My hearing was tuned in to people uttering such phrases as, ‘We need to make plans to go…”, or “We can get some things together to send…”

Many people prayed.

And that’s when I started coming around…

Yes, it’s a fact that voodoo is the main form of “worship” (I’m using the term lightly) in Haiti.

So, does that mean that we, as Christians, should just write them off?

Absolutely not.

It means we need to “step up.”

We will probably never meet any of these people in desperate need, but when they hold a “care package” in their shaky hands, gulp a bottle of water after days of thirst, or are able to heal their wounds with help from strangers thousands of miles away, maybe, just maybe, they will wonder about this person called God.

I was surprised to learn that a news anchor for one of the major networks actually said the victims’ “only hope” was Jesus Christ.

Well, DUH!

He’s the only hope for ALL of us.

And we sure don’t mind to share Him.

My heart has been heavy lately, and I feel God is calling me to do something/anything.

I was walking down the street in a small, eastern Kentucky town the other day when I passed a newspaper box.

On the front page was a picture of a young, earthquake survivor under the headline, “The healing begins.”

As I looked at the picture, chimes seemed to appear from nowhere.

The sound grew louder and louder. My head whipped around-trying to find the source. I was able to make out the familiar rhythm…”It is no secret what God can do.”

I was almost running-darting through alleys, cutting through parking lots. Was it my imagination, or was I really hearing this.

I turned a corner, and found myself facing a huge, old church, with a steeple so tall it seemed to point forever to the sky. People were walking up the steep steps. The church sign said,  “Prayer meeting for Haiti.”

Wow.

Here, there, everywhere, people were coming together for one cause, united in grief, yet ready to serve.

On the long trip home, I listened to a radio report of several children rescued from Haiti and brought to the  U.S. for adoption.

Some of the children desperately needed medical attention. Before I realized, and had pulled to the side of the road, clasped my hands together, and prayed.

I can’t help but think I wasn’t alone.

I’m sure at that moment someone was on their knees somewhere, maybe someone was saying  a silent prayer as they toiled away, perhaps someone was packing their bags and saying goodbye to their loved ones as they answered the call.

So, what are YOU going to do?

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The Times Journal is a weekly newspaper issued on Thursdays. It was first published on October 13, 1949, by Andrew J. and Terry Norfleet.
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Russell County News is a weekly newspaper issued on Saturdays, and is mailed free to every address in Russell County, Ky. It was first published on February 1, 1913.
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