This morning I was listening to a song by Matt Redmond that sings praises to God through Psalm 84:10. As I sang along with the words, “Better is one day in your courts, better is one day in your house, better is one day in your courts than thousands elsewhere,” my heart rejoiced and my spirit agreed – YES! I would rather be in the presence of Jesus than anywhere else in the world. And guess what! I have that privilege every single day because Jesus is with me constantly. The miracle of a soul reborn is a mystery that many identify with, and yet there are so many more who question whether or not it is real or simply in the imagination of the believer. I have thought of this dichotomy many times, and I have come to realize that there are professing Christians who SAY they believe but do not experience the victory of a life with Jesus, and these give the skeptics reason to believe it is not real. However, when you meet someone who really does know and love Jesus, there is no doubt about it – that person is a new creation in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” When I read this verse, I see that Paul says IF anyone is in Christ. In other words, the test of a true Christian is whether or not he is a totally different person than he would be if he were not a Christian. Christ changes a person completely. This week, I met a lady who exemplifies the changing power of Jesus in not just a person’s actions, but in the very spirit of that person.
This beautiful woman is Eddith Salomon. She is the aunt of the lady who cooks for teams here at Hope Center, Esther. Eddith is a new Christian, and I wanted to share her story with you because she is an example of the miracle of rebirth that is ONLY found in Christ. I have spoken with many unbelievers and skeptics in my lifetime, but when you come across someone like Eddith, there is no explanation for the complete turn around she has experienced except for a supernatural miracle from God. Nothing can change a heart like Jesus can!
Eddith grew up in the church with her family. However, when she was 14 years old, she decided that she was tired of being forced to go to church and she wanted to make a way for herself on her own. The deep lines in her face recall the pain she feels as she explains, “I was seeking things to please ME. I was such an angry person.” So she left her family and moved to Leoganne. She began to live a promiscuous life with many men who would support her. She began to drink heavily and use drugs. She didn’t realize it then, but the substance abuse was just a way of escaping her pain. She couldn’t be happy on her own. She required drugs and alcohol to feel good, and these things were destroying her life without her knowing it. She eventually met some people in the Voodoo church who taught her that if she gave her life to Satan, he would help her get the material things she wanted in life. She devoted her life to Voodoo and decorated her house with grotesque, distorted images on the wall that were meant to control evil spirits. She said these things would keep evil spirits from controlling her and she could call on them to do whatever she wanted that was evil. Little did she know, she was the one being controlled, and she sank deeper and deeper into a dark and desperate pit. Eddith eventually had two boys. She provided them with a large house, land, nice clothes and other things, and an education. She had become successful, but she was very unhappy.
On January 10th, 2010, everything changed for Eddith. While her boys were at school, Eddith was at home going through her morning routine. Suddenly, the walls of the house began to rattle, and everything around her was shaking. All of Haiti was being rocked by a terrible earthquake. She watched a crack form in her wall and make its way to the floor. She braced herself to keep from falling as the floor of her house rocked back and forth and up and down. Suddenly, as the ceiling began to crumble, she dashed out the door of her house, hearing the rumble and cracks as it began to fall into a heap on the ground. Recalling her thoughts at that time she said, “I refused to die because I didn’t want to go to Hell and I didn’t want to leave my boys.” She fell to her knees and cried out to God to save her. “At that moment I gave my life completely to God.” In her despair, her thoughts quickly turned to her boys. She rushed to the school to find her children safe and unharmed from the earthquake. She praised God for keeping her family safe in the destruction. In the days ahead, Eddith found that she had lost everything she owned materially. She lost her home, everything in it, her money, her clothes….everything. However, she did not feel alone. “No matter what the difficulty, Jesus never leaves me alone,” Eddith explained. The earthquake took everything I had, but God allowed me and my children to escape harm. Now she sees how God used that terrible event to completely change her life as she says, “Everything I lost I had received from the devil, therefore I lost nothing and gained everything I needed!” Now she lives a completely different life. “I will never go back to that life,” Eddith affirms. “I was such an angry person, but Christ saved me and now I have peace and joy! Without Jesus I would now be crazy! I was smart to go to Jesus because I know He will give me everything I need for every day.”
Eddith now lives from day to day, trusting God to provide what she and her boys need to survive. Some might see this as a terrible existence, but Eddith knows how it feels to live her life apart from God. She has no desire to return to the life she once had. Before the earthquake, she had many material possessions, but she did not have peace and joy. Now, she has few material possessions, but she is happier than she has ever been in her life. It has been two years since her boys have been in school because she does not have the income to pay for their school. However, Eddith is trusting God to make a way for her boys to return to school one day. “Christ supplies all we need,” Eddith says with a smile on her face. I have no regrets now because what Satan meant for harm, God has turned into blessing, and I have faith that He will provide all we need.”
I am encouraged as I recall Eddith’s words while we sat on the front steps of my house, a light rain splashing upon our cheeks as we lift our hands and praise God for His blessings. The rain increased and we moved inside and continued to share many stories of how God has blessed both of our lives because we put our trust in Him.