|Haiti: June 2004|
Delayed, but not Denied
We received a call from the missionary in Haiti that there had been heavy rain for several days, resulting in flooding. It was impossible for them to get through to get to the next town, let alone Port au Prince to the airport. Because of this circumstance, we had to delay our trip a couple of weeks. When our team met, there was a common theme that if we had to delay the trip, an extra two weeks of prayer and preparation was a good thing... it turned out to be a great thing.
On our trip in January, the high Voodoo priest in the region, Gerald, gave his life to Jesus. At the time, he wanted us to destroy his Voodoo things, but we couldn't. His wife was set as the owner of all of their property, and she was very upset that he had become a Christian. She wouldn't allow us to do anything to it.
Our major prayer requests for this trip were that Gerald's wife (we never have heard her name) would be saved, that we would be able to destroy Gerald's Voodoo paraphernalia, and that we would see a harvest of souls.
We visited Gerald's wife a few days in a row, each day inviting her to join us for dinner and inviting her to the services we would be having. After three days, she and Gerald did come. The next day she was at the service and came forward during the altar call and gave her life to Jesus. Probably the most exciting thing is that the next two nights, she was at the services sincerely worshiping God, singing every word of every song.
The night Gerald's wife accepted Jesus, Pastor Winston asked if we could come to destroy all of their Voodoo things the next morning. Both Gerald and his wife said yes, so we all got up early and walked down to their house. Members from the nearby church were there (as well as a lot of neighbors), and after checking one last time that they wanted us to destroy the Voodoo things, we started hauling things out of the house, digging up buried objects, and tearing down a structure related to the ceremonies. A neat side story related to this has to do with a lady named Milani. Her father had been a Voodoo leader, but was saved during our trip last May, and then she accepted Christ two days after he did. Just one year later, Milani was there, passionately helping us destroy Gerald's Voodoo stuff (she was even breaking poles over her knee). We piled everything up and set it on fire. That Sunday, Gerald and his wife walked across the street to attend a Sunday morning church service together for the first time.
Like the last trip, we visited homes to witness, pray with people, and invite them to the services. The first day we went out, Pastor Winston led the team. As we left a house we started to walk by an old man who was sitting along the path. Our translator stopped and started to talk with him. Pastor Winston told him about Jesus, and the man said that that morning he thought that a "good thing" would happen. He accepted Jesus, the best thing that could happen! The next two days, we split up into two groups (I led one of them) to visit people. We witnessed to and prayed for a lot of people, and a few more people accepted Jesus. Pastor Winston's group met an elderly man who was in pain and couldn't sit up. They prayed for him on a couple different days and saw improvement in his health. The day before we left, he was sitting up without pain.
We did six services and saw many salvations. God touched people and I believe that the results of this trip will be further-reaching than just what we saw. Something new we did was teaching discipleship classes. The kids we know from around the orphanage came and we taught some principles about Christian life. Whenever we are there, we go out witnessing and praying for people, but that doesn't seem to happen much when we aren't there. We want to see more fruit from our efforts than saved souls - we want to see Christian workers rise up to do the work so we can see more saved souls.
Exploring New Territory
There is a large lake visible from the orphanage. It is across the valley a couple of miles further west. On past trips, we've heard stories that no one goes there because it is haunted. We had never seen anyone around the lake, even though it is fresh water fed by a spring. (A note: one of the major causes for disease and sickness in this area is that people don't have good water - this lake would be an excellent source.)
Well, we had a bit of an overcoming mindset, so we mentioned several times during the trip that if there was a chance to do it, we wanted to go to the lake. The opportunity did come, so we loaded in the truck and headed the opposite way down the highway to a road that cut across to the other side of the valley.
The road was in bad shape in several spots, results of the previous heavy rains. There are thousands of people in the area we drove through, a new mission field that we want to reach out to in future trips. When we reached the end of the road we got out and hiked the rest of the way down to the lake. When we emerged from the vegetation and saw the lake shore, we also saw several dozen Haitians there getting water, washing clothes, swimming, bathing, and watering livestock. Apparently, these people hadn't heard the stories about the lake! We stayed for an hour or so, swimming and playing games with the Haitians and then headed back to the orphanage.
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