As I was working on some marketing stuff for Emmaus yesterday, I stumbled across this powerful testimony again, reaching me today... Be challenged, be blessed....
let us see what God will do.
I'm not sure when lawlessness has run as rampantly in Haiti as it does right now, and days are filled with horror stories and rumors, and little by little, you realize that which is insane has become quite horrendously normal.
It is crazy to me that things have gotten so bad that good people trying to do good things for the good of Haiti are having to do it in secret, hiding it, to avoid attack. It is crazy to me that men and women fighting for the good are being threatened, that children are being threatened, that education is being threatened, that businesses are being threatened. It's crazy to me that evil has become so prevalent that good has to hide to carry on.
As people wonder who is good and who is bad and which side is right and which side is wrong and what to believe in this mess, I don't know.
But I do know this.
Men threatening to kill children and burn down schools, for ANY REASON, are evil men. Men burning down businesses and robbing and hurting and violating innocent men, women and children are ruthless and evil men, working for darkness and destruction.
The enemy is the one who is bringing death and destruction and lies and fear and confusion, in my life, in your life, end of story.
That which Haiti once celebrated: a child going to school, a person having a job, having products to sell, having a bit of food to eat...Haiti is now hiding, if courageously fighting for it, at all.
As I continue my Bible readings now through Ezechiel and John, is not that different from where God's people were at thousands of years ago, where God's people have been, and where God's people are in many other places around the world, TODAY.
There is an area not far from here called Bois-Caiman, a huge open field and surrounding homes where for 200+ years, political figures, business men, witchdoctors and people from all across Haiti have come because evil spirits are known to be powerful and very present there. Different voodoo celebrations throughout the year are often held at Bois-Caiman, lots of sacrifices, horrible stuff I can't write about.
The main spirit there calls itself Briz, and it comes down when conjured from the mountain in a huge wind. Every time it returns to the mountain, it takes the life of one of the children in the homes around the area of Bois-Caiman.
There are many believers who have lived within minutes of Bois-Caiman for their whole lives, but who have never set foot there, because THAT area of ground belongs to Satan. Out of fear and perhaps an effort for righteousness, the church and Christians have stayed far away, not wanting to be a part in darkness.
Over the last months, more and more parts of Haiti have been given over completely to that same darkness. Parts of every community. Parts of people's lives. The ugly parts that come out when desperate. The evil parts that come out when afraid.
In times of darkness, darkness grows, and it was with the realization that Haiti is in a battle it seems to be losing that caused Pastor Lucner--our dean of advancement at Emmaus, our brother in Christ, the senior pastor of the Vaudreil Church, an Alumni of Emmaus and our friend from day one in Haiti--to go on the offensive.
Last Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, the Vaudreil Church fasted, prayed, worshiped and preached from 8 am to 3 pm. Everyone. Everyday. They saw healings. They saw conversions. They saw freedoms. And as they studied His Word together, they remembered and fanned that mustard seed of faith into a fire, instead of huddling at home fanning fear.
I LOVED experiencing this fleshed out through Gertha, just a member there, as she grew in courage last week, and announced on Thursday that she WOULD be going with the church on Sunday, marching to Bois-Caiman for the first time in her life, breaking chains LONG standing, claiming the bloodied soil for Jesus, lifting up praises to the Lord, praying for the people, claiming the area to NEVER be touched by spirits and demons again, claiming the land for Christ.
And they did.
Twenty four churches under 24 pastors marched to Bois-Caiman Sunday morning...walked the three miles singing and praying, and as they did, believer after believer came to Pastor Lucner along the road, warning him that the main witchdoctor of Bois-Caiman was going to approach him, and offer him his hand, and that when Lucner shook it, the demons of Bois-Caiman were going to kill him on the spot, in front of everyone
"Let us see what God will do," Lucner said over and over. "Have faith."
The churches had been threatened already. They were going to have rocks and bottles thrown at them. Politicians who come all the way from Port-au-Prince routinely to tap into the evil power at Bois-Caiman for their financial and political successes were going to hire thugs to kill them. The demons were going to eat them upon their arrival on 'their' land.
"Let us see what God will do," Lucner said over and over again. "Have faith."
The Church, our brothers and sisters, our family, your family, were so many that they surrounded the entire area in a huge circle, and for the first time in the history of Bois-Caiman, 200+ years, GOD'S praises rang out.
I don't care what you think or believe about spiritual warfare and demons and their power and what you've seen or heard or haven't or how it seems to be different in Haiti than it is where you are...
An area of Haiti that has been in utter darkness and horrific sin and where His name has NEVER been lifted up was totally saturated in hymns of light and praise and glory on Sunday, and THAT is exciting.
And as they sang and prayed and gave the place to Jesus, the people of Bois-Caiman came out of their homes and celebrated....for they have lived in fear FOREVER. They have lost their children. They have lived in bondage, and the church had NEVER come. Light had NEVER been brought.
A man far across the circle emerged...aggressively walking alone, hand out-stretched at Lucner, who smiled again even in the retelling of the story.
"When he finally got to me, I grabbed his hand like he was a dear friend I hadn't seen in 20 years," Lucner said. "I shook it in front of everyone like my grip would break his bones, and it was totally silent, as everyone waited."
"He finally let go, and stared at me," Lucner said, and I grinned at him and began to tell him about the One True God."
"When I did not fall, when NOT ONE BOTTLE had been thrown, when not one pebble had been cast, when not one threat had materialized, when not one old lady had even grown faint in the hot sun, he scowled and fled the circle, for after all these years, his ground had finally been LOST."
Renaming the area "Zion", a symbol long representing the longing of wandering people for a safe homeland, hours later the troops marched home for a worship service unlike any other.
This morning, Lucner popped in my office on his way to his. "How are things in Vaudreil?" I asked casually, but he is far too on fire for anything casual.
"There is FAITH this morning in Vaudreil," Lucner grinned, laughing. "There is faith this morning in Vaudreil, for everyone who used to think that certain places were for Satan, that certain people were for Satan, that certain things were for Satan and to be feared are NO longer afraid, and they are claiming it ALL for Jesus."
Talk to me family.
Where are those dark places we all tiptoe around in our lives? What are those 'off-limit' things we don't address and therefore have been giving power to? What are those strongholds in our life that have never been flooded with HIS light and His sacrifice? Who are those people that we just won't GO there with? What are those human high places that we simply. won't. take. down.?
Do we have that mustard seed faith today? Do we have faith that those hurts, those sins, those people, those strongholds, that those places we thought couldn't possibly be healed, those hurts we thought couldn't possibly be forgiven, those horrors we thought couldn't possibly be redeemed...can be? Have we fought for them? Have we even simply shown up there? Have we courageously brought other believers there to fight with us? Have we dragged it into the light for Him to work?
This is the time for Haiti.
This is the time for your life, your place, your world.
This is the time NOT to stay home, but to march there. Not to abandon ship, but to fight harder. Not to "leave it alone," but to face it. This is the time to call in all the reinforcements and to bring His light and His praise into places you have left alone and perhaps even guarded for lies and darkness and destruction to dwell.
Tell a godly friend or two about that dark place and ask them to help you break those chains once and for all by His power. Bring a godly friend or two or ten and pray alongside them for that necessary forgiveness or healing once and for all. Ask the Lord to show you where the shadows are. ASK the Lord to bring them into the light of His grace and presence and power, for life abundant.
Whether you believe in the demons Haiti sees every day or not, Satan IS in a battle for you, and he will use even the tiniest shadow where God has not been allowed to shine for Satan's glory, for his advancement, and darkness doesn't just dwell...it grows.
I am praying for you, keep praying for us. Let us rise and march there today. Let's GO there.
Let's RENAME those areas, Zion: His holy place, His total presence, completely His.
Let's shine--just a fraction of His glory, radiant on Lucner's face today, as a man in danger of death and destruction, who trusted the Lord, instead...knowing that at the VERY worst, all that man could do to him was bring him into the precious glory and presence of our God.
Fight for Light in Haiti today. Fight for Light in every area of your life today. Fight for those around you, fight for your marriages, fight for your children, fight for your faith. Fight for those dark places. It is in the times that Light is most bushel-ed that it is most badly needed.
May we reach out our hands boldly to that which threatens to diminish, destroy or shake us, for "The God of Peace will soon crush Satan under your feet," Romans 16:20.
Things are awfully bad in Haiti today. Maybe things are awfully bad where you are, too...even if under the surface.
Let us see what God will do. Have faith.
|Lucner, in the pink shirt and smile, with the other pastors leading the day|