Haiti, May Your Soup Bowl Overflow!

In Haiti, the land of my childhood, January 1 is not only New Year’s
Day but also Independence Day. It was on this day in 1804 that Haiti
officially became independent from France, throwing off two centuries of
slavery to become the world’s first independent black republic. To
celebrate, Haitians eat soup joumou, a soup made from a squashy kind of
pumpkin, laden with cabbage, turnips, and large pieces of beef rubbed
with lime. It is believed that the newly freed slaves, forced for so
long to serve the good food to their masters, chose to make it a symbol
of their independence one they were free. Never again would master tell
slave what he could eat. The Haitian would eat his freedman’s soup under
his own vine and fig tree and profit gladly from the abundance of

Sadly, for most Haitians, the Haiti of 2013 is nearly the polar
opposite of the 1804 ideal. Today, Haiti is a weary, devastated nation
teetering on the edge of extinction. Nevertheless, we serve a God who
raises the dead, “calling things that are not as though they were” (Rom.
4:17). Jesus stated bluntly that the Kingdom of God belongs to the
poor, and promised that the meek would inherit the earth. There are many
in Haiti now who are of His flock, who hear the shepherd’s voice. I
keep praying that as the Gospel bears fruit in their lives, it will
spill over into an abundance of common grace for all their fellow
countrymen. That is my prayer for Haiti in 2013 — individual, communal,
and societal restoration through the overflow of forgiven hearts that
are moving into the “Yes and Amen” promises God makes to those who love

Oh, may it be so! May Haiti’s soup bowl overflow in 2013. May it know
abundance and prosperity once again. May so many centuries of injustice
be washed away by the rivers of God’s justice rolling like a river, His
righteousness like a mighty stream. May the light of God’s truth pierce
through spiritual darkness. May the knowledge of His love bind up the
wounds caused by so much hatred. May He cause the sun of righteousness,
who has risen with healing in His wings, to rise. May the day come when
Haiti’s beautiful people go forth leaping, like calves newly released
from the stall (Mal. 4:2).


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