Secondly, I want to say that I am proud of my husband, who is a Godly man who refuses to quit and who turns the other cheek and who speaks peace and wisdom and relies fully on the Spirit and who blesses me with wise leadership and his friendship. He is watched continually, constantly, by so many, and while he is imperfect and ornery and human, he exemplifies a life poured out to a holy God, and I continually see the Holy Spirit working powerfully through him. I praise praise the Lord.
I want to thank God for many sweet moments these past several very intense days...playing basketball with the students and visiting professors, cooking for visitors with my girls, Lily's Foot Washing Society, Rachel helping me love on the girls, awesome times of worship with our staff and students.
So here it is.
One darkness entrenched man who was fired from Emmaus over a year ago, by God's grace, has done his very best these past months to threaten staff, to threaten community members, to destroy the local church, to threaten Matt and I and our children, to threaten our students, to create fear and intimidation, lies and manipulation.
It all came to a head this weekend when he sent community thugs to threaten several local staff members and dear friends and their children, and then announced a major threat upon Matt.
Threats and darkness and fear--the servants of voodoo, voodoo, voodoo.
I know it seems crazy that anyone would believe it. But there is much in this culture that is not understood, begs understanding, and is answered by voodoo.
For example: A man who seemed like he was in ok health (and actually has probably been sick for a long time and had symptoms we would recognize as threatening due to a lifetime of education) gets really sick over the weekend and dies. There's no Web MD, there's no doctor, he was fine, now he's dead.
Immediately, one of our many witchdoctors, or two, or three, say that they in their great power with the help of powerful demons cursed the man, and killed him. Maybe he says someone in the community hated the man, and paid him to curse them.
Now everyone is afraid of the witchdoctor, afraid of upsetting anyone, afraid of the man who paid the witchdoctor.
Or a cow drops dead. Or a motorcycle crashes, or it rains for ten days, or a child fails an exam, or your wife gets a headache, or you lost 100 gdes.
There don't seem to be any other reasonable explanations, so that is it. Quickly, everyone says that such-and-such killed, hurt, stole such-and-such by Satan's power, and it's good as done and truth.
Except it's NOT.
It's full of fear and darkness and confusion and bribery and manipulation, and it's how many many communities in Haiti (and probably in many other countries) function. Out of fear. Out of darkness.
So when someone doesn't get what they want...they threaten. And they curse. And they stir up trouble. And they pay a few witchdoctors.
Except somehow all that dark magic stuff doesn't seem to work on US.
There's a lot of stuff we can explain. And there's a lot of stuff we can't. But it's not about whether we believe any of it or not. It's because we put our trust fully in He-who-knows-no-darkness, in He-in-whom-there-IS-NO-FEAR, in He-who-doesn't-work-at-night-in-secret.
Our bold and powerful and honest and true God of the day and light reigns in us, and there is no fear. We dwell in Him, and follow His light and truth example, and that crap DOES NOT WORK. And it frustrates evil men to no end, to desperate measures, power they once had, now diminished.
But you know what we saw today? Evil men, and too many guns, and men of authority, and men of darkness, and today we saw brothers and sisters who NEVER would have even dared whisper a stand five years ago, jump to their feet, literally, and YELL, literally, "LIES!"
Today we saw people who would not have even said the names of the evil ones for fear of curses stand up before them and before men who could kill or imprison their bodies, men who have threatened their spouses and children, and yell, "YOU SPEAK ONLY LIES."
THAT, friends and family, is a testimony of God at work. That is a testimony of Emmaus. THAT, family, is a testimony of Christ in us, day after weary day, month after month, year after year, TRUSTING and modeling and encouraging and living alongside.
We have not been afraid. And today, they weren't afraid either.
No matter HOW SUCKY THE DAY (and it was sucky, and we are TIRED) that matters.
And all in front of our students, seeing the mayor and the justice of peace and the head of police and evil and threatening men and lawyers, and not understanding.
And yet they ALL HAVE these same men in their lives, these same threats to their families and ministries, the same voodoo threatening them and darkening the lives of those they minister to...and tomorrow, tomorrow Matt will have the chance to share with them in chapel what happened today, and how we must be carriers of His Light and Truth and flee from fear and darkness, overcoming it the darkness in this short lifetime or the next forever one.
This is all really big deal stuff.
These are the days that carry NO glory, that carry NO impressive statistics, that carry NO awesome pictures--but that show TRUE AND LASTING CHANGE, that show TRUE transformation, that show TRUE freedom in the TRUE GOD.
I say Hallelujah.
I pray over my sleeping children tonight again, I pray over our sleeping campus, I pray over my sleeping husband, I listen to the voodoo drums out our bedroom window and say Hallelujah, whatever the cost, to see sweet fruit of the true Jesus.
The only One who can change how it is, how it's always been.