After lunch, Rev. Matthew Harrison gave a devotion based on John 11:14-15 (in English and in Spanish, translated by Rev. Ted Krey) to the departing Mercy Medical Team: "Then Jesus therefore said to them plainly,'Lazarus is dead, and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe; but let us go to him.'"
This is a troubling passage in Scripture; it is a mystery. Jesus rejoices because Lazarus is dead. This is not the remark of a callous, uncaring man. We know that Jesus loved Lazarus. When He heard that Lazarus had died, Jesus wept. Now this is a strange word in Greek; it literally means the sound a horse makes when it is sucking air through his mouth. You know it is the sound a family makes when he gasps for air upon learning the death of a loved one. Jesus wept for Lazarus but he rejoiced... Note He didn't rejoice because Lazarus no longer was in pain or suffering, or becuase he was in heaven. He rejoiced at Lazarus' death because suffering and the cross create faith. Because Lazarus died, Jesus spoke these words, "I am the resurrection and the life." Do you believe this? Jesus brings life from death.
This past week you have seen death. You have seen suffering. You have seen the cross. The Lord does not bring the cross to hurt you. He brings the cross and suffering to create faith. He drives you to Jesus who is the resurrection and the life. He has forgiven you all your sins.
This past week you made mistakes; Jesus forgives you. You have been short-tempered, irritated, and angry at times; Jesus forgives you. In fact, Jesus has forgiven you so that you can be Jesus to your neighbor--just as you have been this past week, serving people in need from Haiti.
May Christ grant you who are going home to Santo Domingo and the United States peace and safe travels. Those of you going into Haiti late this afternoon, may Christ keep protect you and bring you back safely.
In the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.