Well, it has been a very turbulent last few months for Joy and I secondary to the violence, protests, and political unrest in Haiti. I am sure that many of you are aware of the recent events, but for those of you who aren’t, allow me to inform you. The Haitian people feel that their President is not doing his job and are demanding that he leave office. Accusations of corruption, misuse of money, and a flagrant disregard for the people he made a promise to serve, have plagued the Haitian President for the last two years, but in recent months very real problems have materialized. The response has been an overt and understandable anger amongst the Haitian population.
I wanted to write to all of you, our friends whom God has joined to this ministry, with words that God has put heavily on my heart to share with all of you. This is an important letter that I pray all of you take seriously and consider in its entirety. The timing of this letter is secondary to the rapid growth of the ministry in terms of the number of Haitians coming to a saving faith in Jesus Christ and being literally taken from the hands of demons! I can say with sure confidence that many of us never thought that we would be taking part in a ministry focused on directly defeating demons in the greatest demonic stronghold in the world—Haiti. We should all rightly consider it an absolute honor to be assigned to this country where a great war for the souls of men has been ongoing for hundreds of years. In the area of Haiti that God has placed us, Satan has enjoyed a mostly unopposed existence that he has taken full advantage of as he spiritually captured and physically devastated the Haitian people whose only ‘fault’ was simply being born in this country. With that said, we have a responsibility to those whom God places in our path. It is no mistake that my family and I are living and working in Haiti. Additionally, the fact that you are reading this letter and known by this ministry is evidence that God has assigned you to Haiti also. Joy and I are blessed to have you all as co-workers in this field that is ripe with fruit, but this fruit can only be harvested by unified hands—your hands joined together with ours!
We have seen that obedience will result in suffering, but to what end? The end is a harvest of souls! Jesus instructs Paul on his mission and these words continue to ring true for every Christian who has lived since. “I am sending you to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.” (Acts 26:17b-18) This is the goal—a harvest of souls!
Let us move on to the second part of the triangle now. This will answer the question: What will obedience do for me personally? We saw what our obedience will do for others in this sinful and fallen world. We also saw what it will do for us eternally (earn us rewards). But what will it do for us here on the earth before we die and go to heaven to spend eternity in the presence of God?
These last several months in Haiti have been the most physically demanding up to this point in Charis’ history. We hiked many miles up mountains every week. We rode motorcycles through treacherous and overly-difficult terrain, often in rainstorms. We ate the same food, day in and day out. We contracted illness without adequate or quality medication. We were dehydrated due to extreme heat and humidity, etc. My body and health have definitely taken a hit from this lifestyle. I can honestly say, I would not be doing this if it wasn’t for the call that God has placed on my life. Through God's grace, I continue to experience increasing clarity and affirmation the longer I endure and obey while in Haiti. God is showing me that the Christian life can be represented in a triangular arrangement, with each of the three sides dependent on the others for growth, advancement, reinforcement and continuity, all within the confines of sanctification. The three points of this triangle are: obedience, suffering, and harvest.
The reason that I share these stories with all of you is to encourage and inspire you. I am sure that everyone is noticing the rapid demise of our American culture as we turn in the direction of Sodom and Gomorrah. When I say that, I am not just talking about sexual immorality, which is rampant in America, but I am also talking about our treatment of people and tolerance of sin.
Remember that Jesus predicted that certain societies will be worse than Sodom and Gomorrah, and it includes societies that fail to heed the Word of God. And that is exactly what we are seeing happen in America and Europe. People love to tell me that there are lost people all over the world, in every country, and I concur with this.
This story finds its roots in a meeting with a vodou priest that was initiated by Andrelli. This vodou priest is not just any priest though. This young man’s name is Ite (pronounced EE-TAY), and he is a malefactor. This is a term reserved for the priests involved in the darkest black magic, including harm to humans and even, in the extreme cases, human sacrifice. In fact, the way that Andrelli met this man is interesting.
As I approached their porch, I saw a man sitting there that I hadn’t previously seen. Destine Mavoy knew who he was, though, and introduced this man to me as Jerome. Destine then spoke to me in English and told me that Jerome was from his home town of Guillaumonde, a 2-hour walk from the village of Peredo. Destine revealed that this man was the premier vodou priest in Guillaumonde and that we should talk to him about the Lord.
Sano was a young man who terrorized an entire area of a village. Everyone was afraid of the black magic that he would practice against people. I wasn’t aware of Sano until a vodou priestess (who I was sharing the gospel with) told me about him and literally begged me to go to him. When I showed up to his home, I immediately saw a small grave that represented his allegiance to a very dark demon. God empowered me at that point and I opened the conversation by asking Sano why he was tempting God to destroy him where he sat.
Latigue is a man in his 60's who I was never planning to see, due to the fact that I wasn’t aware of him or his involvement in vodou. I was actually on my way to see a vodou priest named Sila (who we have now been to many times). But that day Sila wasn’t at home. As we were leaving Sila’s property, a local man mentioned that another vodou priest lived nearby. Understanding this to be from the Lord, we went to this man’s home.