What an absolutely amazing Holy Week we had here in Haiti last week!
On Tuesday I got to help package up Rice and Beans for 86 families in our organization. This is through our monthly food program called Grains of Grace. This food program was started back in 2012, my first trip to Haiti. Back in 2012, I was able to help hand out the first round of rice and beans to the families, and now, almost 10 years later, it is so amazing to see how much the program has grown, and to be living here handing it out once again! Back in 2012 I never would have imagined that this is where God would have me, but i’m so happy it is! This food program has been so vital for many people in the village of L’Acajou. I have been able to see for myself the difference in the health of our kids from that first trip in 2012 to now, they are no longer malnourished and are able to have enough food to eat, which helps them stay healthy and not get sick as much and thanks to our medical clinic, when they do get sick, they have somewhere to go! The difference in our kids has truly been so amazing to see!
On Wednesday we had another amazing community outreach service right on our front lawn! It was so amazing to see so many people from our neighborhood come out of their houses to join our service! This was the biggest turnout we’ve had so far, and it was really amazing to be able to be a part of it, and reach out to the people who live around us!
On Thursday night we had the most amazing night service! One of our young people, Roman, who grew up going to our Bible camp, was preaching! We had a wonderful service, and afterwards we normally have a time of prayer, where we all circle together and pray together for about an hour after the service. During this time, one of the young girls who got saved at our community outreach service last week, Chilove, was praying, and a woman from the church felt led to pull her to the side and pray for her. While the woman was praying over Chilove, she fell to the ground, and began to roll around, eventually violently rolling down the stairs of the church. Our Haitian Director, Joseph, noticed that something wasn’t right, that, although she had given her heart to the Lord, there was still something evil inside of her. He began to speak to her and found out that she had previously been heavily involved with satanic worship, and that she still had not gotten rid of her clothing and items from that. Joseph knew that by holding onto these things, she was allowing that evil to remain as part of her life, so the entire church loaded up in the truck, and we drove to her house. He went inside, grabbed all of the items of satanic worship that she still had, and threw them in the dirt. We circled her in prayer as she stomped the clothing into the dirt, and then he grabbed the items, and the entire church followed him as we hiked up to the main road. As we sang songs of worship and praise, Joseph doused the items in gasoline and lit them on fire, we sang and clapped as the fire burned the items to ash, and continued to do so all the way back to her home. When we got back to her house, we began to pray over Chilove, but it was clear that something evil still had a hold on her life. Something was controlling her, causing her to roll on the ground, scream, try to undress her, causing her to run into things to hurt her and lunging at people. It was as if whatever was inside of her was now incredibly angry that we had destroyed the items of satanic worship, and was doing everything in its power to keep its hold on her. The entire church circled around her, and began to cover her in prayer, rebuking the evil spirit that was inside of her. I have never felt more powerful prayer in my life. As we prayed, she would calm every few minutes, and seem as if Chilove was back and the evil spirit had fled from her. Joseph would pick her up, look into her eyes and call her by her name, she would seem like herself for a minute, and then either try to attack someone again, or try to undress herself again. It was as if the evil spirit inside of her was trying to trick us, and have us stop praying, so that it could remain in control of her. This happened 4 or 5 times, as we were non-stop praying, and rebuking it in the name of Jesus. We were truly watching a spiritual battle take place, and the evil inside of her was doing everything it could to keep its hold on her. Finally, after about 40 minutes of praying, Joseph picked her up and looked into her eyes, and talked to her as Chilove. You could just tell that it was her, as a wave of relief swept over her face. She looked for the first time, truly free. When she had first come to our church, she looked like she was so burdened and weary, even as she gave her life to Jesus, she never looked truly happy. I now know its because she had still never been free, she may have accepted Christ into her life, but there was still an evil power with a deep hold in her life. Now, she is free. She has been liberated in Jesus, and you can see the difference in her personality. Now, she has the most beautiful heartwarming smile, and truly looks like someone who has been touched and changed by God. I am so thankful for the opportunity to help this young girl, and to truly see and feel the power of God first hand. It was something I will absolutely never forget.
On Friday morning, we had a wonderful early morning church service up in the mountains for Good Friday. The service started at 6am and went until 2pm! We, along with 5 other churches from all different areas, drove an hour up into the mountains, and then hiked 20 minutes up to the peak, and had the most beautiful service to honor Jesus’s sacrifice on that day. Our amazing worship team even carried up all the instruments, 4 speakers, the entire drum set, and a generator, so that we could be as loud as possible and have everyone around us hear! It was truly so amazing to see so many people come together on that mountain top and worship God, and it truly felt as if we were closer to God up there. During this service, another young woman from one of the other churches was prayed over, and delivered of an evil spirit within her. It was again so incredible to see the power of God, and truly feel just how powerful He is there on that mountain top!
On Saturday we got to have a wonderful birthday celebration for Joseph! It was his 50th birthday, so we had a huge celebration with all of his family and friends! It was a wonderful night celebrating his life and I am so glad I could be a part of it! Joseph has been an absolutely vital part of our ministry, and is constantly thinking of how we can make improvements and how we can continue into the future. He has also graciously welcomed me into his home, and treats me like I am one of his children, and I am so thankful to have him as my Haitian father!
We finished out the week on Sunday with a beautiful Easter service! The church was beautifully decorated with white and red curtains and ribbons, and everyone wore white and red to symbolize the body and blood of Christ! We had a beautiful time of communion, and a moving time of worship and praise. It was so wonderful to experience my first holiday in Haiti, and we had an amazing day celebrating that Jesus is risen!!
So excited about all that God is doing here in Haiti! He truly is saving lives, and liberating souls, and I am so thankful I get to experience it! Looking forward to all that He will continue to do!