As I sit here still answering messages that have come to me over the last 24 hours, my heart is hopeful as many, many people are joining us in prayer for Haiti. Monday night around midnight, when I went to bed, I checked my phone to make sure it was not on silent in case Tony called and then put it on the night stand to go to sleep. I checked it occasionally throughout the night for updates on what was going on in Haiti, and then around 5:00 am, my phone began to “ding” over and over….and over again. Between text messages and inbox messages, I had over 63 messages from people expressing concern. As more and more people started seeing people, groups, and organizations in Haiti post about the political demonstrations going on over there, I found myself spending the whole morning answering questions about our perspective on the situation. One of my missionary friends over there was sending me pictures of things she had seen or others had seen going on in the city, and I realized that this is not just a political situation, it’s spiritual. Haiti needs prayer. Right now, the forces that are wreaking havoc are powered by the enemy. Their intentions are evil. They are using the oppression and desperate condition of the masses to bring about political upheaval that will only benefit the wealthy and once again ignore those in need. But God….
But our God is more powerful. He loves Haiti, and He loves the ones who are being daily oppressed and their condition ignored. This is why He called us there, to minister to the oppressed. And now He is calling us all to prayer. He is more powerful than the one making a mess of things over there, and we CLAIM Haiti, by the power of God, for CHRIST! He WILL move, and He WILL establish peace again there soon so that we can continue to serve Him by helping the people of our village.
God’s word is FILLED with not suggestions but commands to minister to those in need. Look for yourself. Do a search in the Word about poverty and helping others. Over the last two days I have found myself reading Psalms and Proverbs, asking God to use His word to embolden my spirit. He has done that. Proverbs 31: 8-9 says, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” God loves them and calls us to serve Him in ministry to them. The poor in Haiti deserve a chance, and God’s plan for them has not changed. In our village, people don’t seek luxury, but they do want to be able to send their kids to school, get dependable medical care, find ways to establish their own businesses, grow and harvest their fields for food and market, worship together in peace, and move about the country easily and affordably as they go about their daily lives. BGM as well as many of you have partnered with them over the years to help them do just this. Over the last 7 years, the improvements we have seen happen in the lives of people in our village are enormous! Thousands of people have come to our village to serve with us and love on our people. This WILL NOT CHANGE. As it is God’s will, it will continue! As David cried in Psalm 35:10, I cry out too: “My whole being will exclaim, ‘Who is like you, Lord? You rescue the poor from those too strong for them, the poor and needy from those who rob them.'” When I read Psalm 113:5-8, “Who is like the Lord our God, the One who sits enthroned on high, who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth? He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes, with the princes of his people” the words that stuck out to me were ASH HEAP. Here I picture the piles of smoldering ash in the streets of Haiti after the burning tires have lost their flames and the people have returned to their lives. God reminds me, “I am on the throne, I see the pain, and I WILL MOVE.” The flames will smolder out, and the needy will be lifted up and seated “with the princes of his people.”
I needed this so, so much. My heart has been breaking and my spirit in panic as I envisioned once again the poor suffering because of the injustices of others as hundreds of Americans fear coming to the beautiful country where we serve. I just don’t want to see that happen again. I want to see people joining us in ministry to the ones we have grown to love so much. I have thought about LyniaNara needing medical care, and Mr. Saintus and Mdm Dorsainvil needing their blood pressure medicine. It hurts my heart to know Mr. Milfort can’t make his almost daily hike from Ganthier to Hope Center to visit with us. I cry as I envision all of the children in our village unable to attend school, growing more and more hungry because the food trucks are unable to pass through barricades in the city to deliver food. I have found myself on my knees, just crying uncontrollable tears to God. ….then it hit me!
God said, “This is where I want you right now.” He reminded me of Psalm 146:5-9 where He says, “Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God. He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them—he remains faithful forever. He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free, the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.” God is watching over us. He is the maker of heaven, earth, sea….and Haiti. Haiti is HIS. She is not mine, or yours, or anyone else’s. She belongs to God, and He wants us to BOW DOWN and pray for the ways of the wicked to be “frustrated.” He will protect the foreigners and sustain those we serve. It’s happening right now. He WILL lift Haiti up again. We WILL serve normally there again, and soon. This confusion is only for a short season as He stirs things up and moves people to once again turn to Him.
So now for the elephant in the room. Many people have called and written to me as well as the BGM office and asked, “What do we do now? Do we continue making plans to come to Haiti to serve?” The answer is OF COURSE, WE DO!! The called of God don’t let the wickedness of the enemy hijack God’s plan and rob those to whom we minister. We don’t allow the enemy to manifest fear in our hearts and chase us away from our call. We are cautious and practical, of course, as we believe God would have us be, but we do not, WILL NOT, abandon the call. God is clearly not finished with the work He called us to. The many thousands of other believers who join together as the body of Christ to minister to those in need in Haiti are STILL CALLED. This time of upheaval is a call to prayer, to REAL faith in God’s power to move among the people of Haiti as they once again turn to Him and rise out of the grip of the enemy. Before we know it, the streets are going to be open again, businesses are going the be thriving again, schools are going to be teaching again, and WE – the Body of Christ – are going to get up off our knees refreshed and renewed and ready to be His hands and feet to this beautiful nation to continue the work He called us to.
Anyone who has ever lived in Haiti knows how one week you can be lifting your eyes up to a beautiful sky filled with a fresh, ocean breeze rustling the palm fonds, and the next week the air can be filled with the smoke of burning tires. It’s a third world country. Oppressed people are easily influenced and enflamed by corruption. To serve full-time in a country like this, one must build relationships with trusted people who also have influence around the country, who will spring into action when things get rough. One must utilize multiple sources to be aware of conditions all throughout the country. One must have plans in place for keeping people safe while they serve as well as give safe evacuation in cases of emergency. God has blessed But God Ministries with all of these things. We will not allow a group to come into the country if we do not feel it is safe to travel to our village. We will be in communication with every group that has booked a week on the calendar as that week approaches and we continue making plans for ministry. As long as we can safely move these groups in and out, and as long as our Haitian staff can help us prepare, we will do so. We keep our eyes set on God and His plan for His ministry in Haiti. Can unpredictable events occur that are out of our control? Of course they can. Life is unpredictable. But we must remember that panic is not of God. Wisdom is. The plan of God is still at work and will continue on in His power, protection, and provision, and we will rest and trust in His will.
Please join us in this call to prayer, and please continue making your plans. All of this uprising and chaos will be over soon, and life in Haiti will be no different than it was a few weeks ago when we were busy teaching ESL to village kids, educating expectant mothers, building houses, serving lunch to school kids, and seeing patients in medical clinic. Our prayer is that there will be one big difference though. Our prayer is that Haiti will have a renewed sense of the power of God and a new commitment to His will in their lives and the future of their nation.