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.
Hello Charis family! I pray that this blog finds all of you both seeking and living within our heavenly Father’s will for your lives. Things are busy in Haiti as God continues to move powerfully through His Holy Spirit within us. Our third mission team of the year just left Haiti and we are looking forward to three more teams coming down to serve before the end of April! The first three teams were a great blessing to the ministry. It is an honor for us to have the opportunity to directly observe the diversity of gifts and strengths that God has placed within each of His sons and daughters to advance the work of the great commission!
We have arrived back in Haiti safely, and we want to thank you, our many friends, who have been praying for our safe travel and arrival. CHARIS is a Holy Spirit-led, God-anointed ministry that is focused on bringing the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the ten million people of Haiti, many of whom are enslaved to Satan and his demonic legions via the ancient tribal religion known as vodou. You are all a part of this ministry, and God has honored all of us with the task of turning the Haitian people “from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith” (Acts 26:18). So we want to start this new season in Haiti with a genuine thank you to all of you, and we humbly ask that you please continue to pray and support this ministry that is producing fruit and expanding God’s kingdom here on earth!