The Kingdom of God
- in the World and in Haiti -
by Fr. Burnet Cherisol,
Episcopal Vicar for Anglican Mission Haiti
“The Time is fulfilled and the Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the Gospel.” Mark 1.15. Jesus called the church and his followers to go and do the same. The Anglican Mission, A Society for Mission and Apostolic Works, heard and received this calling. Living as a Christian and practicing biblical values is not easy. And AMI (Anglican Mission International) is a chapter of the Anglican Mission and has made a choice; deciding to go everywhere called and proclaim the Kingdom of God following Jesus’ steps joining those in Africa, Canada, India, the USA, and now Haiti.
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There are two texts in the bible that touch my heart when talking about the Kingdom of God.
The first: “…. Jesus was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah, and when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable Year of the Lord.’ Then, he closed the book and gave it back to the attendant and sat down,
The second: “When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.” Matthew 11.2-6.
Both texts remind us what proclamation of the Kingdom of God is. We all have received the calling to prepare our hearts for the return of Jesus to reestablish love, justice, peace, and joy for all. There is no place for hate, misery, discord, war, suffering and death. Therefore it’s amazing to follow Jesus! Learning to act and to be like he is. And our commitment must be permanent until his return.
I think that Anglican Mission, in its vision to be a catholic, charismatic and an evangelical Society can make a difference by becoming a refuge for all who are looking for God, in praying, studying, and sharing the Bible with the help of the Holy Spirit. Today people are crying everywhere. They are looking for love, hope, and well being.
People are not taking seriously the Christian values. Wealth, pleasure, and power take the place of God and transform the world into a place of suffering and misery. The time is coming for Christian people to engage themselves as followers of Jesus, as witnesses of the Kingdom of God.
In Haiti, November 19, 2017, AMI opened an Episcopal Vicariate to continue Jesus‘s works. We welcome this opportunity as a gift of God. We know also that there are a lot of challenges that await us. One big challenge is to proclaim the Kingdom of God in a context of poverty and misery; the economic situation is very difficult. There is a lot to do. We now have two priests, one deacon and thirty members engaged in this mission. We want to prioritize Christian education to help people to meet and know God and to build together a better life. (Fr, Ken Dean travelled to Haiti in January to meet with Fr. Burnet and look at developing St. Aiden’s school of theology there.)
We pray they will become Christians and make the choice to follow Jesus. We count on God, and we count on all members of the Society.
Let’s build the Kingdom together with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Episcopal Vicar Anglican Mission Haiti