Sunday, February 28, 2010
re: Haiti Update - Sunday
This has been a good weekend. The nurses’ team from Louisiana went home on Saturday. In a few short days, we became very good friends with the three ladies. We were able to share words from Acts 20:24 & 2 Timothy 4:7 about fighting the good fight and finishing well. We had a sweet time of prayer before they left. They said we were sent to them at just the right time.
We also discovered that one of our interpreters lost his girlfriend in the earthquake. He has been so up and full of joy. In a quiet moment he disclosed to us his loss…so we spent some time praying for him. But he is filled with the hope of Christ and is trusting in God in the midst of the difficulty.
Saturday we characterized as being sad & good. The first site was challenging. The presence of opposition / spiritual warfare was strong. People were non-receptive to the gospel. Brian & Mike have been a huge support in trying to give me more time to talk with people. So after the frustrations of the first sight….we changed our strategy. We split the team…they would go assess buildings…and the pastors & security would go with me to talk with the people. I was sharing with groups of 15, 12, & 25 at once. This was an answer to our prayers. For me, rain is symbolic of the presence of the Holy Spirit. The other are doves. For one of the girls from my ISP team…hers are butterflies. I want Amber to know that when I was leading one young man to Jesus…a butterfly came to the tree that we were standing next to! After the other two became followers of Christ…I saw doves nearby. God is good!
One child I met and prayed for lost her younger sister in the earthquake. Another lost her aunt. She herself was stuck under the concrete blocks…but was rescued. She suffers still from headaches because of the injury. These were emotional moments…but praying with them brought a sense of hope. The smiles on their faces after prayer were the signs of hope that only Jesus can bring.
Our other team also said that every victim they contacted, including the pastor, had a family member or close relative killed in the earthquake. There are so many needs here and it can be overwhelming. But for both teams we spent praying, singing songs, holding and hugging kids and just loving on the people!
Today (Sunday) we were able to go to church services. We were invited to Pastor Pierre’s church which is the same pastor that has been working with us. Our team leader, Mike Bivins was asked to preach today. I was glad to go there because we knew many people there from the past 2 days. We had an great service! We were on fire! Really….literally we had a fire! Just before Mike was to preach, the generator blew up. They had moved it to an area underneath some hanging clothes. The generator blew up, clothes caught on fire...and within seconds there were flames 15-20 feet high! The generator was about 50 feet away from where we were sitting. It also was in a building that Mike & Brian had inspected a few days ago. They immediately went into Disaster Relief mode and rushed towards the fire. Guess we can be taken out of California...but you can't take California and fires out of us! The locals started to pour water on the generator which just made it worse because of the gasoline. Mike began to throw sand on the fire and everyone followed suit. Larry (from Louisiana) & Brian ran upstairs to make sure everyone was out. Brian knew the lay of the land upstairs because of his assessment. Karen & Larry from Louisiana are both firefighters...and Leon the IC was also with us. Our security did a great job. He immediately pulled me inside to keep me safe...and continued to stay close by while he watched the other team members. We were able to extinguish the fire...and continue on with the service. Praise the Lord!
At one moment when everyone was rushing out of buildings and yelling...everything was just so surreal. I began to experience 2nd hand what it must have been like for the Haitian when the earthquake hit. Granted...much smaller scale ... but still chaos, panic and fear. But quickly we sat back down ... began to thank God...and praised Him. The people here are so resilient...because of their trust in God.
Leon blamed Mike for the fire...he said the message was so on fire...that is what lit the generator! Ha! But God had it planned all along that Mike would preach after another disaster...immediately!
After services the men went and did a few assessments in the nearby homes. I was able to talk with the same young man from the first day that needed healing. We had a wonderful time sharing from God’s word and praying. After that some of the children called me over to spend time with them. They wanted me to pray with them. I also taught them “Jesus Loves Me” in sign language! They were precious! They sang “Rejoice in the Lord Always” for me as well!
It has been an afternoon of rest for us back here at the Florida Guest House. Another group has just arrived from Arkansas. It is amazing how many people are flowing in and out of this house.
Our second team went to a different worship service. John was told in the ride to the church that he would preach the message! Gail commented that the message he preached was amazing! He preached to about 70 people. They said that at a destroyed home they had 6 children sing “Jesus Loves the Children of the World”. All of the team was able to offer greetings to the congregation.
It rained last night! Very refreshing but it also causes problems for the people here since they are living outside in their tents. Today has gone back to hot and humid!