Friday, February 19, 2010

Three Days of Heaven

Three is a significant number in the Bible. The Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Seraphin cry three times “Holy, Holy, Holy.” Jonas in the belly of the big fish for three days and three nights. The Three-fold gifts of grace are Faith, Hope, and Love. The Three-fold nature of man is Spirit, and Soul, and Body. And, of course, the most profound, the resurrection of Christ after three days in the tomb. It is a number representing divine completion. That was also the number of days recently acknowledged all over Haiti as a time of mourning, prayer and fasting on behalf of the earthquake.

We were here in Haiti, of course, during this powerful time. For us, it entailed meeting early Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning in the Ben’s (our sports center) with all the MDL kids, staff, neighbors, displaced families and friends to pray, fast, worship, read scripture, share testimonies, hear sermons, lift up praises to the Father and petition and intercede on behalf of Haiti. It was one of the most powerful, incredible experiences of my life.

Not only was the prayer and worship time at MDL incredible -- seeing our kids on their faces, passionately crying out to God or seeing the families who had lost everything, smiling, laughing, even dancing to pour themselves out as an offering to God for His glory and honor -- but it was also what was going on throughout the country.

Friday morning, after praying and worshipping with everyone at MDL, I had to drive up to Petionville (about a 15-20 minute drive) for a brief meeting. When I left the orphanage, I had my windows down and as I drove I heard something I only thought possible in heaven – constant, unceasing, intense, continuous prayer, worship and adoration -- from all over and everywhere. People joining together, singing in their tent citys, in their homes, on street corners, to offer up prayer and worship to God. Churches, sounding like choirs of angels, overflowing into to the streets. Small groups in circles on the streets prayed intently. Large groups paraded through the streets – marching and singing hymns -- reciting scripture together in unison. And the most amazing thing was the fact that the “beautiful noise” never ceased -- all the way up the hill.

Add to that the irony – this same weekend was already a celebration weekend, planned out long before the earthquake. It was the beginning of Carnival week in Haiti, the single biggest Haitian event of the year, a Mardi Gras of sorts. A time when people sing, get drunk, celebrate voodoo, march through the streets, and often get very violent. It is a week when all schools close down for the week and many churches host weeklong “family camps” to pray against the “spirit” of Carnival. To hear prayer and praises to God replacing the drunken revelry of Carnival must have been like a sweet sweet fragrance to the Creator of all.

Many say this weekend was a turning point. A miracle. A second earthquake – occurring not in the earth, but in the hearts of the Haitian people. A time of repentance and turning to the One True God.

I don’t know if that is the case but I’m praying. I’m praying that this is a major shift in Haiti. That the gods of the past will be rejected once and for all. That Truth will overcome culture. And that the people of Haiti will break the chains they sought to break over 200 years ago.

"Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?” Isaiah 58:6

Please join me in praying that this very special weekend not just be a onetime event but, instead, that it mark the launch of a new beginning for Haiti, a time where God is lifted up, first and foremost, above all, and that the people of Haiti be truly set free, once and for all, by the power, grace and might of a loving God.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Back in Haiti!

Sorry I haven’t written for a while. Unfortunately, I was flat on my back from a back injury and was pretty much unable to do much of anything. I was totally out of commission as the result of trying to draw a bucket of water from our cistern.

You see, our generator died and we were without power – which can actually be quite fun. We’ve kinda grown fond of “no power” days here. No DVDs. No computers. No video games. It’s kinda like “Little House on the Praire.” Sometimes, however, the kids don’t like it that much, because I insist they call me “Pa” instead of “Dad” during “no power” days. When I light the kerosene lamp I will warn them of Indians lurking in the shadows.

So, this one night, I was heading out the door saying, “You younins keep the door locked while I’m out fetchin’ water from the well. You never know what’s out there.” I could see their eyes roll in their heads behind the faint pale of the kerosene lamp.

When I made it to our cistern, I dropped in the 5 gallon bucket, (set my rifle aside for a moment) filled it with water and began pulling it straight up, I took a step to adjust the rope and “pop” twisted my spine -- the wrong way. “Aghhhhh,” I shouted, and down dropped the bucket and down I fell. It was pretty pathetic. I could have laid there by the cistern, moaning and looking pitiful for the next hour or attempt to make it back to the house. So I chose the later – I hobbled upstairs, making my back pain even worse. As I walked in the door, I expected my kids to be standing there shouting, “Pa! Pa! What happened? Should we fetch Doc?” But they were nowhere to be found. I had to make it to my bed by myself. That is where I remained for the next three days.

Fortunately, however, we had no shortage of aide with three nurses and a visiting doctor to assist. They had pain meds and back patches and all kinds of things that made it a very painless recovery. Unfortunately, I don’t remember much about those three days other than images of visits from Doc Baker . When I finally was able to walk, I got up and realized I lived in Haiti, and discovered that much was going on.