A word brings hope
By Gary Fallesen, founding president, Climbing For Christ
Gilbert, using his prosthetic leg, climbs stairs to greet a Haitian woman with a baby living in the Dominican Republic.
Food was being delivered door to door in Dominican neighborhoods. But no one from the Dominican government was stopping at houses where Haitians live.
This prompted Gilbert Lindor to make his own special delivery. The bread of life.
“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst’” (John 6:35, ESV).
In this time of COVID-19 and social distancing, some are feeling what many in this world experience daily. Isolation.
Gilbert, a Haitian who has grown up on the Dominican side of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, says the 2017 census reported 497,825 Haitian immigrants registered in the Dominican Republic. “It could be more because the registered ones enter legally,” he said, adding that the majority of those immigrants are probably in Santo Domingo. “The great buildings, hotels, and any type of construction are made by Haitians.”
Not to mention 40-to-45 percent of the students in universities, like Gilbert, who is studying medicine at Universidad Tecnológica de Santiago (Santiago University of Technology) in Santo Domingo.
“We contribute a lot in the Dominican economy,” Gilbert said. “But, unfortunately, many Dominicans always look at us as a useless person.”
Or, in the case of Dominican government food delivery, ignore them completely.
“Let all the world look to me for salvation! For I am God; there is no other” (Isaiah 45:22, NLT).
The prophet Isaiah foretold the coming of God’s own Son, Jesus Christ. We celebrate this week what He did for us. Jesus defeated death. He did this for everyone. For Dominicans and for Haitians. For Nepali and for Pakistani. For Indonesian and for Tanzanian. For Turks and for Kurds. For everyone.
Gilbert knows the love that Jesus delivers.
This week he took members of C4C New Generation (Haiti) with him door to door to visit Haitians in Santo Domingo – just as he had done alone last week. The objective, he said, was to learn “the situation of some of the many Haitians who are living in the Dominican Republic during this period of quarantine.” You see, the DR is like many other countries facing coronavirus: it is locked down.
“Parents with their children without the possibility of eating, being locked in their homes,” Gilbert said. “It really is very unfortunate.
“Some people will say that we are (by going out, negligent in spreading) the virus. But I think these are the moments in which many people need the support of someone. Not necessarily economically, but also from simple assistance. A dialog. A word that brings hope. Something simple like this is what many people who are being affected by the virus or by the economic crisis are needing.”
Gilbert also left them with a word from God’s Word.
“I asked some if they were prepared for this moment of silence in the world,” he said. “I was told no one was prepared for a day like this. And I told them that this is an example of what can happen with the coming of Jesus and many should start to believe that only God is God just as He told Moses.”
“God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM.’ And he said, ‘Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I AM has sent me to you’” (Exodus 3:14, ESV).
God sent His Son, Jesus, to us – all of us. Now He is sending us to those who do not yet know Him. Coronavirus or not, economic crisis or not, we must GO.
The world is hurting. It needs a word from us. It needs The Word from HIM.