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.