So last time I wrote about our Bible study across the street, I was really burdened and sad and angry...and the Lord added grace to my perspective and renewed my burden for prayer.
But that same night, Junior couldn't sleep either. He had two dreams that night, both in which he saw the sick young man trying to get up off his bed, and unable to. When he woke up in the morning, he grabbed two students immediately and went back to the house, with the smell of burnt offerings and voodoo potions still in the air around the house.
He confronted our sister directly, who immediately poured out her also broken heart, full of guilt and shame. "My family called the witchdoctor," she said, "and I didn't say no. I didn't stand up against them, because it is my brother who owns the house, and he who called the witchdoctor. And, a few weeks ago another young man woke up with the same symptoms as my son, and a few days later he died! I was afraid! I'm sorry!"
Junior talked to her and her husband, forgave them, and led them through asking the Lord's forgiveness and more talk of trusting the Lord with all their hearts, being strong and courageous.
But he is 25, and before Junior was willing to pray for him, he wanted to talk to Evens.
"Look," he said, "I'm a follower of Jesus, and Jesus can heal you. But if your life is not in Christ, and you're going to continue in Voodoo, asking Satan for help instead, I'm not going to ask for God's help alongside of Satan's. God doesn't work like that. It is one or the other."
"If you want Christ in your life, then I'll tell you how to invite Him in and follow Him, but if you decide to follow Him, you can't follow anything else. NO more voodoo, no witchdoctors. What do you want?"
I want that, Evens said.
You hear me? Less than 24 hours after we left that yard, shuffled out of the yard to the sound of the pilay, Evens asked for Jesus.
Junior led him to the Lord, he confessed his sins and asked for forgiveness from the Lord in front of June, our students and his parents, and he was given a NEW life in Christ.
Junior spent extra time talking to the three of them about what had happened, and could not happen again.
"I don't care WHAT you have to do," Junior urged them. "You are in Christ now. There IS no other. You must trust, you must have faith. No voodoo, no witchcraft, no potions, nothing. Prayer, fasting, study, worship, thanksgiving."
He left a very different house that morning, came to ours and I was praising the Lord!
The next day, Junior went to see Evens again, and found him gone. When the uncle who owned the house brought in another kind of voodoo medicine to slather all over his back, Evens refused. When the uncle kept insisting, Evens asked his mom and dad to carry him OUT of the house and take him to the house of a cousin down the street.
"I PROMISED to be faithful," Evens told them. So they did.
What a testimony of fruit in a brand new believer, so sick he couldn't even walk.
The next day, seeing how firmly Evens believed, the uncle promised to back off, and they brought him home. A few hours later, Junior, Nora and I headed out to pray with Evens.
We found him like this. Still incredibly sick. The stale smell of smoke and incense still hanging in the stick house. His new Bible by his head, his emaciated legs poking out of his shorts, his body too weak to sit up.
But he lit up that we were there, and June went through the whole thing again. Our God can be trusted, we must trust Him. He says that He is the one and only, and that we must serve Him as the one and only. He is the Great Physician, and He can do that which is impossible. We prayed for him, and June continued to encourage his mother, too.
My mind came immediately to the story of the of the man with the demon-possessed son, who said to Jesus, "If there is anything you can do, please!"
To which Jesus said, "IF???"
Immediately the man crumbled into a beautiful and honest prayer I have begged myself many a time:
I DO believe! Help my unbelief!
"We must have faith," I told Evens and his mother, Nora having fallen asleep in my arms during the prayer. "We must trust that God is enough. But even when we struggle to, even when we are tempted to worry, to not trust, HE WILL HELP US. We must believe, and even then, we must not believe on our own! He will HELP us to believe!"
"Trust Him. And when you can't, ASK Him to help you trust Him, and He will."
I saw his daddy yesterday, and with a huge grin he said, "We are standing firm. He is sitting up now. But even if he weren't. We are standing firm."
There is a lot being taught in the middle of a mud-hut voodoo village in Haiti at Emmaus Biblical Seminary. And there is a lot being learned, too.
Praising the Lord.