Last week I was having a few doubts about some decisions that I’d really been sure of before. But after taking some time for reflection, I recognized that several lies had infiltrated my thinking, tearing me down with subtle accusations. In fact, those decisions that I’d already made were from the Lord, and He confirmed them again. Clearly, it was time to examine my spiritual defenses. I am finding that everything I do related to taking a team back to Haiti next month is being fought by the enemy. Here are some mandatory responses to spiritual warfare – I hope you will take action in your battle as well: Read How
Why am I going back to Haiti again? A third time? Sometimes people assume that because of my heart for God or my heart for the lost, I’m just not like other people. After all, everyone knows that missionaries aren’t normal. We can’t relate to them because they’re just wired differently. Maybe so. Maybe not. But I’m not going back because I would like to. Actually, part of me wants to never go back. So Why Go?
As the church leadership team gathered for a meal, planning and prayer, someone asked about my recent return from Haiti. I’d been having a bit of trouble knowing how to answer some of the questions this past week. Joe turned to me and asked, “Do you have PTSD? I fought in Vietnam and I know what you’re going through.” I thought a little bit and nodded my head. Joe continued, “Seeing death, seeing the casualties – we can talk, okay?” The confirmation was helpful – why I’ve resisted looking at my photos and have felt awkward summarizing the mission. Joe fought in a real war – with bombs and shelling and shrapnel. It didn’t seem like my experience with the devastation in Haiti was on the same level.
I was on a different battlefield – no question about that. But we were also at war. The spiritual battle and oppression, the Haitian practices of voodoo and the occult, the political corruption, and yes, the death and destruction. Port-au-Prince is a war zone, with every other structure reduced to rubble, and refugees clamoring for aid – seeking shelter under tarps in every open space in the city.
I am grateful that Joe had the insight and the openness to connect with me, and help me step out of the mental fog of war. When we run headfirst, we must be cognizant of the cost of battle. It’s not an excuse to escape from doing what God calls us to do. But it’s the recognition that fatigue, heartbreak and trauma come from being at war. I am taking time to mourn, to process, and to re-gear. Because we know the battle is won, but the fighting isn’t over.
It’s hard to express how grieved I am right now, upon returning from Haiti for the 2nd time this month. While we worked to bring focus to a desperate situation, we encountered spiritual oppression, arrogance, spiritual immaturity, narcissism, division and distrust. We had to pray constantly and be on guard against forces of confusion and critical spirits.
Praying and striving to stay focused on Christ’s provision for the people of Port-au-Prince and greater Haiti was far more difficult this time around. In hindsight, I feel foolish to have been caught so off-guard. Why am I surprised, after writing just last week about God’s light in the darkness being His power shining forth through us as earthen vessels, that the rest of the passage would be just as real? Read More
Learning to live headfirst is harder for some than others. I’d assess myself in the bottom 20th percentile of “naturally living headfirst.” I frequently remind myself, as greatly needed, that a thousand lies of the accuser come rushing at me every day. I purposefully read Scripture and recall it throughout the day, because (as my friend JP says) the truest thing about me is what God says is true.
If it comes down to living as a strategist or living out my faith, I want to live by faith. Planning, strategy, sequencing – these are all beneficial to the Christian life, and I’m grateful, because they are part of my strong suit. But none of them help me live by faith; sometimes they offer excuses for me to not rely on Christ.
Let me illustrate how this played out over the last two weeks… Read More
This is an invitation to be a part of the Body of Christ at work in Haiti. We are collaborating to work as one – hopefully networking as many churches and ministries in the U.S. and the world as we can to support indigenous ministries in Haiti, and building on a long-term plan that incorporates the physical, spiritual, economic and social needs of the people.
Right now a core group from Southern California churches and ministries are working together and making as many connections here and in-country as possible. Leaders in Haiti and the Dominican Republic are coordinating an effort that will establish lasting engagement from followers of Christ. I will be joining a team on the ground in-country next week. This is not a “service team” per se, though we will deliver aid & supplies. Service and outreach teams will be needed in the near future, but right now we are only sending crisis response teams, such as medical teams, and a handful of ministry leaders.
Please recognize that by the time you read this, many things will have changed. We are working in a highly fluid period of crisis and transition with a goal of moving from urgent relief towards long-term recovery.
I will highlight one current opportunity before us – one of many… Read More