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!

As you can see, the format for getting information from the field to you is changing slightly. I will blog real time occurrences in Haiti and tie them to Biblical considerations biweekly (and at times, weekly). Then every month all of the respective blogs will be consolidated into a quasi-newsletter. This gives me the opportunity to freely write to all of you as the Holy Spirit inspires me. Feel free to comment and let us know what you think about this format. 

Upon our return to Haiti we wasted no time going to visit our communities and vodou camps, as we were very anxious to see how everyone’s spiritual walk with Christ had been progressing over the last 3 months in our absence. We of course had left local leaders, whom we work with, in place to continue Bible study and discipleship with these respective groups, but our desire is that everyone continues to walk in the light and hope of the gospel whether we are there or not. We were pleased to see that nearly every one of the community groups and vodou camps were continuing to endure in Christ despite desperate poverty, sicknesses and, in some situations, social shunning. 

This really amazed me due to the fact that I don’t honestly know if I could be that good. Their deception is so quickly reversed by a simple witness of the truth. This started to make me consider deception and faith in light of what we know and where we live. Deception is Satan’s game, but I find a grand difference in deception when comparing developed and undeveloped countries. In America, we know the truth and we have no one but ourselves to blame if we don’t know it. Bibles, churches, Christian leaders and counselors, Christian educational material, etc., are all overly and freely available for anyone to access. The problem is that the cost of discipleship is high as total crucifixion of our flesh is the Biblical command as we find our standard to be Christ Himself who, of course, is perfect. 

This is a hard pill to swallow for us because we have everything we need: doctors, hospitals, medication, homes, clean water, food in excess, etc. All is ours for the taking, so true Biblical faith is hard for us to possess because why have faith in an invisible God when we have so much visible aid around us. Thus, a situation is created where we are deceived by our own willingness to be deceived. We accept a false, watered-down gospel and easy believism Christianity because through it we get all that we want. We get to 1) have hope in heaven, 2) escape hell, and 3) relieve our guilt for our sin that is dealt with. And since God wants us to be healthy and wealthy (a false gospel), we can have all of that and also have all of the world at the same time. We don’t want to hear words like suffering, sacrifice, persecution, and self-denial, but, unfortunately, those words are inherently bound to the Biblical definition of Christianity. We know this, but it too greatly impedes on our fleshly desires. So we choose to ignore the truth, believe the lies and thus subconsciously, yet willingly, accept deception. Scripture describes this situation perfectly in Isaiah 30:9-10,

“For they are a rebellious people, faithless children, children who will not hear the instruction of the Lord; who say to the seers, ‘Do not see’; and to the prophets, ‘Do not prophesy to us what is right; speak to us smooth things, prophesy illusions...’”

On the other hand, we have the developing world, full of poverty, disease, unstable and corrupt governments, etc. Haiti is one of these countries and they practice demon worship, called vodou.  The situation, in terms of deception, is quite different though because their deception is not purposeful, but rather originates from lack of knowledge. They don’t know Jesus Christ, because there hasn’t been a human presentation of Him to them. This is the job of the Christian missionary, and unfortunately missionaries are severely lacking in quantity. 

My point here is that deception that is willingly created is much different than deception that exists in its sole, non-dependent form. Do we realize that the deception that we have created, and willingly accepted to safeguard our comfort, wealth, and complacency, is sustaining the deception that exists in Haiti and other similar countries? This is shameful in front of our Lord who, foreseeing this situation, commanded us to go into the world and share the gospel with all nations. Let’s stop accepting deception willingly and live in the light of the true gospel.  Remember that only a crucified person can obey and worship the crucified Lord. It is to the extent that we crucify our flesh that we will be effective soldiers for Christ on this spiritual field of war called earth.  

“We know how the Lord Jesus became fruitful—not by bearing His cross merely, but by dying on it. Do we know much fellowship with Him in this? There are not two Christs—an easy-going one for easy-going Christians, and a suffering, toiling one for exceptional believers. There is only one Christ. Are you willing to abide in Him, and thus to bear much fruit?  Shame on me if I think there is a Cross for Jesus but none for me. Let me embrace the way of the Cross and learn to die.”  
-Hudson Taylor