Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Wow, God is Amazing! So many awesome stories happening lately! I wish you could be here experiencing God's move here in Haiti with us.
If you remember a few prayer partners ago I shared the story of one of our prayer partners saying that she could see a picture in her mind of the Madame (Mariette) standing in a dark doorway surrounded by eyes peering out from the darkness. She said that she believed if the Madame were to give her life to the Lord that it would open a floodgate in what was then called DeForce, Pass Rein. Well the Madame did give her life to the Lord, after many years of prayer and fasting. And NOW the floodgates have opened. The Madame's conversion along with the community changing it's official name from DeForce, Pass Rein (place of darkness, where the witch doctors come from) to Bon Berger (place of light) has litertally opened the floodgates. I believe that when God wanted to do a new work in someone's life, sometimes he chose to change their name, Abram to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah, or Saul to Paul for example. I think that the villagers wanting to change the name of their village was part of God's plan and with it, the power of satan has been broken in Bon Berger! We can hardly keep up with the salvations. The other day another witch doctor called our radio station and said that he wanted to give his life to the Lord. Joel and John Denis still go to visit every person that calls into the radio station and they share the gospel with them.
In our last prayer partner I shared that Joey and Joshua were able to film one of the witch doctors burning his voodoo things. I also shared that I had prayed for a little old lady that was there in the crowd. Well I found out that she too was a witch doctor and she was the mother of the witch doctor who was burning his voodoo things. She shared that her other son was also a witch doctor. On Tuesday nights Mike goes to Bon Berger, Pass Rein to share as the church visits different homes and has church in their front yards. Well last Tuesday we had the home service for Bon Berger, Pass Rein in the witch doctors front yard, in front of his mud hut. And guess what? She, the little old lady, his mother, gave her life to the Lord!!!! Praise God!!!!!!
Tonight's service was held in the front yard of the second sister of the Madame's who gave her life to the Lord. She shared her testimony tonight. She said she had been witnessed too on November 3rd and had responded that she was not ready to give her life to God yet. The following Monday one of her grandson's suddenly became sick and died, the following Saturday another grandson ( the brother) suddenly became sick and died. Then the next Monday her son, the father of the boys, who was a voodoo priest also suddenly became sick and died. She said she decided after losing three family members suddenly in the course of one week that maybe she was running out of time and better choose Jesus. That was when she decided to give her life to the Lord. And in her words she said "there's no turning back". Hmmm, reminds me of a song!!!!
The Madame's sister shared that her father along with her other two sisters were voodoo priests. These sisters are all probably in their late 50's to early 60's. And God is cleaning house. The floodgates are definitely open. While she was sharing her testimony tonight, one of her neighbors was listening to her and felt convicted and started cleaning the voodoo paraphernalia out of her house, she too was a witch doctor. Nathan felt led to go and pray for her and she gave her life to Jesus. Then her husband came over to the house where the service was and said he too wanted Jesus in his life. Then another women and another man from the area came and asked if they could accept Jesus. Wow!!!!!
You may have read the stories that I have written about our neighborhood coming to Jesus, without much doing on our part. Well last Sunday our neighbor Jerry invited another neighbor to come to church with us, making 9 neighbors, 3 older boys and our family of 7 all riding to church together (were going to be needing a bus soon :) God obviously began moving in our neighbors heart, as she was crying quietly during the service. I prayed for her and Mike invited her over for lunch after church, she shared a heart breaking story of her mother deserting her at 18 months, she does not know who her family is, or anything about them. Well tonight she said she wanted to come to the service with us, we hadn't even told her about it. During the service she was very quiet and it became obvious that God was delivering her. It has been so amazing, we just show up, or answer a call, or feed someone and God does His will. Witch doctors are coming to him, killers are coming to him, the impossible are being reached for Jesus. I so wish you could be here to experience what God is doing here in Haiti. GOD LOVES THE PEOPLE OF HAITI AND HE IS ON THE MOVE !
We are so appreciative of your prayers and very much in need of them. Nathan is ministering daily and nightly, mostly in Bon Berger and Marose. He also is leading worship most nights. Mike preach's most Tuesday nights in Bon Berger, teaches bible study in Marose on Wednesday, bible study in Perou on Thursday, preach's most Friday nights in Marose at the all night prayer and worship service, teaches pastors and leaders on Saturday and preach's again in Marose on Sunday mornings. They are also both ministering to the couples, families and people in all seven of our communities as things come up during the day. They need your prayers for wisdom, guidance, stamina, and discernment as to where to apply their time. They need your prayers as they raise up leaders to carry the load. Mike is trying to teach, preach, and share with the pastors and leaders so that he can give it away to them and let them lead, teach, preach and share in their villages. Your prayers have and will continue to make all the difference. Thank you so much for them.
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
A dead Mapo tree which traditionally is used for voodoo worship. You can see it sticking up from within the voodoo camp. A tree used for satan now dead, surrounded by living trees full of life. Significant.
One of the new signs for the village.
The ceremony for the name change.
Nathan and the mayor.
Nathan and Mike at the ceremony.
Getting ready to cut the ribbon.
And the ribbon is cut. It is official!
Marching with two new signs.
Thank you for your prayers. The ceremony for changing the name of De Force, Pass Rein went wonderfully. De Force means place of darkness, and had the reputation of being "where the witch doctors come from". Bon Berger, the place of light, is the new name the villagers chose. During the ceremony there was great worship, Nathan's choir performed, there were official speeches, a marching band and parade, new village signs and a ribbon cutting ceremony and lots of food. Everyone is now trying to get used to calling the village Bon Berger. I cannot even begin to describe what this means to the villagers, Nathan, Mike and I. It feels like things have come full circle, sort of an ending with a new chapter just beginning. A battle was raging and victory has come. God has been so good to the people. We have been praying for the conversion of the Madame and salvation to come to De Force, Pass Rein since April of 2011. Since then there have been hundreds of salvation's, hundreds of healings and many miracles. I cannot even count the number of witch doctors and killers that have accepted Jesus. But all along, many of you have been praying faithfully with us as we have been praying for her, witnessing to her, and converting other witch doctors under her authority. And God moved a mountain. He moved beyond what we could imagine or hope for. The madame now lifts her hands in worship to our God. She and many others who fought against Christians and realized their powers in Satan were not as strong as the power of God. One of our friends years ago said she could see the Madame standing in a dark doorway with many eyes peering out from the darkness. She said she believed that when the Madame came to accept Jesus, that the floodgates would be open and many would come to salvation. This has happened. Daily there has been people who have called the radio station, the leadership of Pass Rein or Nathan and said they wanted to know about somebody named Jesus. Sometimes individuals and sometimes whole families. The madame controlled the village, she ran prostitution, cock fighting, gambling and voodoo. She controlled with fear, backed up with violence. And now she has asked for forgiveness and raises her hands in praise to God. She has ups and downs and she does struggle, choosing Christ has consequences, but she is continuing to press on. The revival has created so many new Christians, please keep lifting them up in prayer, it is so hard to be a Christian in Haiti, as their whole world changes.
Joshua and Joey were able to get video footage of the ceremony. They also interviewed many people during their stay in Pass Rein the last few days, they will be putting together a video for our ministry as well as creating one that tells the stories of Pass Rein. Please keep them in prayer as they work on this project, which is immense. Also they fly out tomorrow, after being here for 10 days filming, please pray for safe travel.
Thank you so much for your prayers,
Saturday, November 12, 2016
The Madame worshiping in our Pass Rein church.
The Madame sharing in our Pass Rein church.
The Madame's sister cleaning out her voodoo items.
Praying for the Madame's sister.
Another witch doctor who accepted Jesus and wants to clean his house of voodoo items.
A voodoo pole
The witch doctor taking a machete to his voodoo pole.
Joey and Joshua filming the burning of the voodoo items.
The witch doctor with the voodoo paraphernalia.
Burning voodoo paraphernalia.
Hope your fall is going well. It is finally cooling off a bit in the evening here.
We have had a small team here for five days now. I would like to share a bit about what they are doing. Anna Babe is from Anacortes and has been taking photos for us. We would like to refresh our website, brochures and slide shows, etc. So she has been taking photos at our children's village, our schools and around the community. She has been staying in our home with us, and then traveling around each day. I have really enjoyed the time I have been able to spend connecting with her.
Joshua and Joey are from the Lynden/Bellingham area. They are filming life here in Haiti for us and them. They have felt called to tell the story of Pass Rein ever since their trip here about a year ago, when they filmed Mike for Logos Software. So they are capturing stories on film. They also are capturing our ministry here in Haiti on film. They have been staying in our Children's village mostly, all though they stayed one night in our home. They have also been capturing film at our children's village, schools, churches, market and around the community. They will be capturing a huge event tomorrow.
Tomorrow, Sunday, in the afternoon, the official name of the community De Force, of Pass Rein, which means place of darkness will legally be changed to Bon Berger, which means Good Shephard, with the expression, the place of light. This has been the desire of the community for quite sometime now that so much change has come because of so many from the community accepting Jesus. The community has seen a huge increase in agriculture, it is amazing the quantities of produce coming out of De Force. The community has also seen a huge increase of new jobs. And they have become a true community together, one that even the non Christians have acknowledged. In the past they have had a bad reputation, a large part of which was because it was known as the place where witch doctors came from. This has changed and they want their name to reflect that. Tomorrow there will be a huge celebration. We are expecting at least 1000 people. The mayor will be there along with other government officials. There will be worship, speaking, food and fun. Joshua and Joey will be filming the event. Then they will be staying over in Pass Rein, in the home of one of our church leaders for a couple of nights to continue filming and gathering for the story they feel led to share.
It has been a very fruitful time since the Madame gave her life to the Lord. It has not come without a cost, but it has been fruitful. The madame's sister gave her life to the Lord last Saturday and then asked for us to come to her home after church and help her clean the voodoo things out and pray over her home and family. Also, the Madame has had many ups and downs in the last few weeks. It has been difficult for her to go from being a leader and controller in the community, to having no power at all. It also has been difficult for her as she had quite a large monthly income and now has no income. She had been quite busy before, running all of her illegal businesses, and now does not have much to do. Also her friends and support group are now no longer there, and because of the horrific things she had done to the community in the past, it has been difficult for the community to forgive her and accept her. Last Sunday she spoke at church and tried to mend things. So the community is working on helping her. She also did an amazing thing this past week. She went back to her compound in Pass Rein and told the people she has living there that she was liberating them, setting them free. They had been her restavek's, which are slaves in Haiti. Four of them have now given their lives to the Lord. This is an amazing thing. There are many people in Haiti who have restaveks and do not think there is anything wrong with it. So for her to understand it is wrong and then give them their freedom is huge. It is so crucial that we continue to lift her up in prayer along with those who are involved with her.
Today Nathan received another call from a witch doctor in the Pass Rein area. He asked us to come to his home and pray for him, his family and to help him clean his house of voodoo things. This is another of so many witch doctors who have recently come to the Lord. Joshua and Joey were able to go with us. The witch doctor and his immediate family all gave their lives to the Lord. I felt lead to pray for one little old lady, who came to see the witch doctor. Later on Nathan said he felt called to pray for her and the lady told him I had already prayed for her. She did not want to accept Jesus in her life and she shared that she had another son in Pass Rein that also was a witch doctor. There are so many questioning and coming to salvation right now, please lift the Madame up in prayer, her husband, who still has not accepted Jesus, her family, her freed restavek's along with the community of Pass Rein. Please also pray as other witch doctors hear the Madame's story. Your prayers have been moving mountains please keep lifting the people of Haiti up to the Lord.