Today was a long day, but great last day.Â We started out with a devotional by John Moiola .Â Then we packed our lunches in a cooler, packed our beach stuff, and headed out in â€œBig Mamaâ€ to go to a church in Arcahaie where Pastor Leonce, who helped so much with the crusade, pastors.
It was a really sweet, small church and they were so welcoming.Â They had me introduce the team and then Pastor Jim gave the message â€“ he shared his testimony of being healed from Leukemia and returning to Haiti 3 years after his diagnosis, and related it to the much worse cancer of sin.
It was so good.Â Then they had Pastor Walt give the benediction.
From there we drove and hour and a half north up the coast to St. Marc to visit the hospital.Â Pastor Jim did not go in because of his compromised immune system, so he stayed in the parking lot with the canter, and took a nap on the roof of it, under the shade of a palm tree.
The rest of us went through the hospital praying for people, sharing the Lord with them, giving out toys to children, etc.
The very first girl we encountered was a small girl who said she was 13 (and looked it) who was lying on a mat on the ground outside the building, who had a very swollen eye.
She said she had been there a week and these men had come in three days ago, taken her out to a field, raped her, and then kicked her in the eyes.
She also told us that her mother and father were dead and that she has no other family.Â The team was very distraught about it, it especially sweet Maddy.
With the help of our translator and some ladies we found nearby, we found out that she is actually 22 years old, has a grandmother and an aunt, but is crazy and keeps running away so there is nothing they can do.
The rape story is true and she had no money to pay for her medical treatment or examination, which is why she was still just lying outside.
We prayed for her, gave a hospital worker some money to pay for that and then moved on because, as sad as it was, we didnâ€™t know what else we could do.
We went on to the pediatric ward and while the team was going around praying for babies (with conditions that are just heart-wrenching) Kim, Celissa and I went down to the preemie room and found little Widjey, the tiny premature, starved, dehydrated baby that was brought to our clinic our team had in the village a few days ago.
He looked so much better and his grandma was helping to take good care of him.Â We held him and cuddled him and prayed over him and then Kim, who was the original one to help him in the clinic, felt led to make sure his medication was paid for and that he was taken care of.Â We went on to a room with many very sick or injured men in it.
The team prayed with people and then Pastor Walt preached the Gospel to the entire room and 7 made decisions for Christ.
We left the hospital and headed to Montroius where the team hiked up the rocky trail to meet Benita, the lady we rescued from the hospital a year ago, who had been there for 3 years after being dropped off after the earthquake, who was paralyzed from a spinal injury, lived in her squalor outside of the hospital, and who was literally treated like trash by all the people there, even thrown in the trash daily by the grounds keepers.
After a year of TLC by the caretaker we hired, Mariange, she is doing so much better.Â Before leaving her, several of us felt led to pray for a healing in her little, misshapen, crippled legs.
We prayed and prayed, against the powers of darkness and the oppression we sensed on her.
While praying, Pastor Walt felt crackling in her knees, Pastor Jim felt blood rushing through them, and Kim felt something like electricity flowing through her feet.
Pastor Walt also felt something when he was praying over her spine and touching it, but that felt like a demonic infirmity.
Her legs (that were so incredibly bound up with deformed, tight muscles) loosened, felt better to her, and she could move them around much more freely than before.
She still was unable to walk without help, but Pastor Walt told her that she needs to pray in faith every day for healing and that maybe God is waiting for her to pray through her faith.
We also anointed the home with oil and prayed for Godâ€™s protection over it, and told Mariange to pray for her every day.
Then Jillian, who has a lot of knowledge in physical therapy, came in and worked on her and taught Mariange what kind of therapy to do with Benita every day.
After that we went to the Wahoo Bay Beach Resort for some R&R.Â After swimming in the warm but refreshing Caribbean Sea, and relaxing on the beach, our 3 pastorsÂ baptized Kim Snyder, and two of our Haitian translators: Bebe and Chantal.Â It was a very special time.
We had dinner at the resort and then came home and did our last nightâ€™s debriefing.Â I asked each team member to share something that impacted them and then how they are going to respond to what God did in their life through their experience this week.Â Below were their basic responsesâ€¦
1.Â Â Â Â Sonia â€“ She was impacted by the culture and how behind, backwards and closed-minded they were and yet through the clinics and revivals she was able to share the Lord with them and they responded.Â She now has more courage and faith to go home and share her faith with her family and friends.
- Madison â€“ She was impacted by the time at the hospital and how the people had nothing and no hope and we couldnâ€™t help them all, but we could pray for them and encourage them.Â She is now going to go home and instead of trying to do everything in her own strength, she is going to call upon the Lord and depend on His strength.
- Lonnie â€“ He was impacted by the amount of bondage (spiritual â€“ Voodoo, and poverty) that so many of the Haitian people are in and how it is so hard for them to change their circumstances because there are no jobs â€“ but IV HOPE for Haiti brings so much hope to them through God.
He feels like God is showing him how He is going to use him in the future, but he hasnâ€™t figured out exactly how.Â But he wants to have the boldness and courage to respond in faith to whatever that is, even if it scares him.
- Amanda â€“ She was impacted the most by praying out loud over the sick babies at the hospital today, something that she does not normally do.
Her response will be to pray more about making her life about mission work and both going on the mission field (and preparing herself for it through classes in nursing, agriculture, etc.) and making where she is at, at home/college her mission field as well.
- Chad â€“ He was impacted by all the different personalities of the kids he worked with and how they all got to know him and like him â€“ he really enjoyed them.
It made him feel more confident about be a first time father-to-be and he wants to go home and be the best father he can be â€“ he saw a lot of poor parenting here in Haiti and it grieved him.
- Walter â€“ He was impacted the most by the response by the community to both the clinics and the crusade services.Â It made him see more clearly the opportunities here and also clarified our purposes in being here in this village.
He was blown away by the reasons that many donâ€™t come to church, such as not having the right clothes, even though they are hungry for the Lord.
He was also shocked at the turnout at the crusades â€“ he expected about 50 people and more like 600 came.Â And not only did the people come, but they welcomed us.
It gave him a greater vision and solidified his commitment to IV Hope for Haiti and to focus more on whatâ€™s going on here on the ground, more than just attending monthly board meetings.
He wants to go home and do more prayer and fasting for the hearts to be changed here because so many are truly blind.Â He also loved seeing the team step up and boldly pray for people, anoint people with oil, share Christ with people â€“ it was a team effort rather than just the pastor going about it alone â€“ it brought him great joy.
- Norm â€“ He was impacted by two things: 1. the level of the poverty, and 2. the way God orchestrated this team and how we all worked together.Â He struggles with not being in charge and his goal was to submit and serve however and wherever he was needed â€“ so he grew in that way.
He also saw that God can use him in so many different ways, more than he realized possible, and that excites him.Â He loved both going to the island and being a part of this perfect team to be here at this exact time for these purposes.
- John â€“ He liked being here and seeing everything first hand, it made it real for him.Â He was impacted the most by the power of prayer.Â Going around to the different people and praying for them and actually seeing the prayers answered, feeling the Holy Spirit physically blow through the tent, praying at the Voodoo houses â€“ it all amazed him.
Even though he was worried at first (about being around the Voodoo houses) he just prayed and felt a peace about it.Â When he goes home he is going to open the Word and read it a lot more now.
The Lord has been speaking to him this week and showing him some things he needs to deal with.Â This was his first mission trip, was a great experience, and inspired him to live more for the Lord.
- Kathy â€“ She has loved how every time she has come here, the teams have come with a different focus, but God has always brought the perfect people to implement what God wanted to do with each team.Â This was the perfect childrenâ€™s ministry team that she had to work with here.
She also loved how the children they ministered to during the day felt connected to them when they would see them in the evenings at the crusade services, and how they knew that these people who love Jesus, loved them.
She is looking forward to going home and seeing what the Lord puts on her heart to work on toward the next time she comes.Â She also realizes that sheâ€™s a â€œMarthaâ€ and that she works hard on her projects but needs to focus more on reading the Word.
10. Kim â€“ Kim was impacted by how she came here with a lot of head-knowledge about Christ, but here she actually met Him and saw Him work for real.Â Sheâ€™s excited that she was able to quit smoking on this trip, after a 10-year very difficult addiction.
She has the freedom to breathe again in so many ways.Â She was impacted by the amazing ways that God moved and was faithful to respond to our prayers in real, tangible, powerful ways.Â She has been happy to build these relationships with the team, with other Christians, and is looking forward to fostering those relationships because now she feels like part of â€œthe family.â€
She will go home and depend on Christâ€™s strength for everything instead of depending on herself.Â She was very scared and intimidated to come, especially with the people on this team, like the pastors.Â But the trip has impacted her life powerfully and each person on the team has contributed toward changing her life and her feelings toward other people.
11. Lindsay â€“ She was also impacted by the power of prayer â€“ everything from the hand of the Voodoo priest being healed, people being saved at the medical clinic, hearing Benitaâ€™s story and what happened with her today.
She realized now that if she goes home and prays for her students and friends and family at home like she has prayed for people here, God will do amazing things, so she wants to commit to continuing this at home.
She was also impacted, as a teacher, of the lack of education among the people in general here.Â She wants to come back and contribute toward that â€“ things like teaching hygiene, agricultural information, and even getting her students involved with things like them building solar panels, etc.Â So she hopes to get to come back and implement some of these ideas.
12. Alani â€“ Alani spent most of her time working with the children.Â The children were so happy and so grateful for the little things they would give them and do with them that it made her realize how ungrateful she is.Â She is going to go home and be so much more grateful for the things she has, her family and even her personal space.Â J
13. Christina â€“ Christina realized how little faith she really had in expecting God to respond to prayer.Â In Haiti the people are so much more used to experiencing the supernatural and the United States we arenâ€™t, so they actually expected the power of prayer.
She was also greatly impacted by the way the Haitians worships and how Nedy (our young Haitian friend) commented on how Americans worship standing still but Haitians worship the way they do because there might not be a chance to worship tomorrow, there might not be a tomorrow.
She is going to change the way she prays now when she goes home, praying with a sense of expectancy for God to respond, and she will also try to take the joy of the Lord with her wherever she goes, not just in church.
14. Tina â€“ Tina said she was disappointedâ€¦she was just here in January doing a purity conference and then here she is in July, dealing with many of these same people at the clinic, who are dealing with all kinds of illnesses related to sexual impurity.
However, it is a reminder that we need to continue teaching and encouraging them in this area, because it is a rampant problem that has gone on for generations, and sexual purity is not something that is never taught.Â Working the clinic heightened her recognition that sexual sin is rampant and is universal and needs to be dealt with.
She was also impacted by the clinic and how well the other girls did at it and yet how she struggled with some of the things she encountered.Â She also realized how happy she is to do whatever it is that God calls her to do here, and yet how she doesnâ€™t necessarily do that at home.Â So she is going to go home and try to be more aware of and focused on what the Lord is calling her to do.Â There was consensus that Tina has a gift of rebuking people in love.
15. Jim â€“ Jim learned never get dressed in a dark room on a dark island with another pastor and go to Mexico once a month for a massage from Connie.Â JÂ Â He was impacted by the combination of the medical and eyeglass clinics, the childrenâ€™s ministry, and sharing the Gospel through the village.
The evidence of the effectiveness of this combination is in Isaiah 1:23 â€“ that and ministering to the orphans right here with the orphanage we are building.Â He was also impacted by how many children were coming to Christ and how few adults were coming to Christ comparatively.Â It is this future generation that is going to change Haiti.
It was only three months ago that Jimâ€™s brain was so fried on chemo that he had lost his ability to lead men, and yet on this trip, he led, preached, mentored, taught, and is amazed at what God has done.Â God is not done with him yet.Â He also loved how so many little boys would hug on him all week and telling him that they donâ€™t have fathers, and then coming forward and getting saved during his altar call.
16. Jillian â€“ The thing that stood out to her is the idea of prayer â€“ not that she doesnâ€™t believe in the power of prayer, but she has not seen the passionate form of prayer as she saw with this team this week and it inspired her in her own prayer life.
Although she believes in the power of prayer and healing, she had never actually witnessed it herself, and yet she saw things, like Pastor Walt being prayed over and healed.Â She was convicted by how she has seen the power of prayer and yet all day she wouldnâ€™t allow Tina to ask the team to pray over the pain she has been having today.
She has gone on a lot of other mission trips, but it was always with younger people who were at immature stages with the Lord, including herself, however on this team, it was with a group of very mature people in Christ and how it impacted her, ministered to her, and enabled her to grow in her walk with the Lord.
Now that her husband has been to Haiti on a mission trip with Ryan, and she has been now too, she wants to go home and pray about how they can serve in missions and ministry united as a married couple.
17. Connie â€“ She witnessed how the devil deceives and how he has stolen everything from these people, and they live in bondage and sin.Â She is going to go home and fast and pray constantly for the people of Haiti.Â There was more to what she said, with Biblical illustrations, but it was all translated.
Tomorrow we will leave the mission at 7:00 am and return to El Centro at almost midnight.Â Please pray for a safe trip home for us.