Saturday, July 2, 2011

I Once Was Blind But Now I See

Spiritual attacks are a regular way of life in Haiti. One of our earthquake relief building crew workers died recently. He was a great father, husband and one of our best workers. He had a headache, went in to the hospital and just died. The doctors do not know the cause of death. Death - also, a common reality of life in Haiti. Members of his family say they know why he died -- he died because his brother put a voodoo curse on him. We hear this all the time here as well. It is sad. I'm sure we could debate for the next three years over whether the curse killed him or not. I honestly don't know but, being in Haiti, I won't discount the fact either.

Recently, we had a pretty intense week - the last week of three continuous weeks of back-to-back teams. We also had Adriano (a precious little baby who had a heart operation in the states) return to Haiti, our school graduation, are getting ready to go to the states and prepping for Camp-in-a-Box, summer school and a host of other activities. Right in the midst of this Angelo, our endeared family pet and Susette's constant companion since her bout with cancer, all of a sudden threw-up and lost his vision. He appeared to be completely blind. We rushed him to our vet and the vet confirmed him to be completely blind. The vet said he doesn't know why and has no cure or treatment.

We returned from the vet very sad for our little dog. He is the sweetest little dog in the world.

Elijah, our 11 year old son, didn't want to believe it and started weeping. We all started to question our faith and asked what are we doing and began to pray. I was very depressed and went up to my room to pray. Susette and our friend Scottie were laying hands on the dog, with Elijah, and praying against any demonic intrusion. Throughout the day, we continued to pray.

By the end of the day, Elijah was getting ready to go to bed. Angelo always joins him and crawls under his sheets. There was no change. We were weary and sad that there was no change. Elijah's eyes were red and wet. I told him that we can't give up. "Let's pray tonight that tomorrow morning, when we wake up, his sight would be restored." We prayed.

This morning, we woke up (i before Elijah and Angelo), and prayed some more. When Elijah woke, he came downstairs like he always does with Angelo at his side. Something was different. Elijah was tired and didn't realize that Angelo came downstairs without hesitation, unlike before. We looked at Angelo and he looked at us. He started licking our faces and was following us around the room. HE COULD SEE!! It looked like his vision was completely restored! Praise the Lord!

Yes, the spiritual battles are constant and, at times, very hard, but the battles help us to enjoy the victories and the victories are sweet! Thank you to our faithful, awesome God, Who can demonstrate His unwavering love for us through the life of a little dog.

To our God -- who is is immeasurably more than our worse circumstances -- to HIM be all glory, honor and praise!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Shaken But Not Stirred

It’s a familiar phrase to James Bond movie fans but it could be a sad epitaph for the Haitian response to the earthquake if we are not mindful.

As we reflect on the impact of the January 12th earthquake, here on the one year anniversary, I can’t help but think of those who were drawn closer to God as a result of the quake. I think of those whose lives were sparred who said, “God let me use this second chance to serve you fully, without reservation.”

Churches were packed. The nation had three days of fasting and prayer where I could literally roll down the windows of my car and drive for miles while listening to non-stop prayer, praise and adoration on the streets of Haiti. It was like nothing I have ever seen or experienced. It looked like revival.

It reminded me of the tragedy at the twin towers in New York City occurred on Sept 11. After the tragedy, churches were overflowing with attendees. People all over America turned to God. It also looked like revival. But with the passing of time, people settled back into their old, self-focused ways – mass consumers of entertainment, technology and total apathy to everything that didn’t affect them directly. It is all too familiar.

Will that happen in Haiti? Sadly, we’ve seen telltale signs. People who once worked hard to feed their families now get free food from NGOs that supply their daily needs at their tent city. They don’t have to pay rent. They don’t have to work. The tent cities have become ”the projects.” Non-government supported welfare. Rapes, robberies, extortion and late night drunken parties are common fare at the tent cities. These were the same people who, one year earlier, were on their knees during three days of fasting and prayer. But when the blessings came, what happened to God?

If the earthquake only caused people to be shaken without being stirred to respond to the will of God, then the loss is greater than all the destruction caused by the earthquake. Haiti, with its sad history of unstable governments, poverty, disease, famine and death, can be transformed. But it will not be through relief funds, nor a new president, nor NGOs, nor anything of this earth. It can only be by the mighty hand of a Mighty God, moving across this country in response to repentant hearts and a multitude of prayer.
if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 1 Chronicles 7:14

There is Hope. The world should not forget what happened at 4:53pm on January 12, 2010 but, more importantly, the world should not forget to pray and pray hard for the nation of Haiti. The battle has just begun. God bless you.