Who Has a Target on Their Back

Last week this writer was involved in an accident where suddenly a semi-truck hit the rear end of his car on a highway sending the car spinning out of control.  No other vehicle was hit. A couple days after the accident this writer had a conversation was had with a friend and the thought was expressed that it felt like there was a target on my back.  Now granted the thought was a little dramatic but rooted in having been involved in a prior scary accident about five years earlier. There are also things that have happened in life while engaged in helping others grow and receive freedom.  The thought came to my mind that there is a concerted effort to do me harm.  Now before the reader begins to think this writer is developing paranoia or grandiosity or becoming too concerned with own scope in the grand scheme understand that there is a wider picture here. Sure, this writer may be targeted from harm by spiritual forces. It is a certain possibility. However, it is not isolated to this writer and it is not even isolated to believers in Jesus as Messiah and who surrender to Him as Lord.  The fact is everyone has a target on their backs.  Scripture tells us in 1 Peter 5:8 (NIV) “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”   Granted, the verse there is directed at believers. But it is just not believers that “the enemy” is seeking to destroy. It is all of humanity.  “The enemy” wants many harmed. In John 10:10 it states “The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy” which indicates that all of us have a target on our backs.  And in other words, there is really nothing “special” about any of us and what we go through. It is part and parcel of living life and we are all targets for destruction.

Now that being said, yes, there are times when things happen in our lives where things go beyond coincidence.  And certainly engaging in the work of loving others and helping others overcome the pain, destruction, chains, and traps of the battle of life brings on difficulties the evidence an attack. But the attack has nothing to do with that person but more about who we serve, that we are servants of the most high God.  Now, given that the enemy seeks to destroy all God has given us directions.  We are to take every thought captive. He are to put on the “full amour of God.”  We are to be sober minded and alert. We are to be involved in tearing down strongholds by spiritual means.  We are to cast down imaginations. We are to stand firm and endure.   Our job is not to “defeat” an enemy but to bring people into God’s kingdom and save them from destruction.  Bad stuff happens. Periods of time where we catch the attention of the enemy do occur and has an impact, in other words stuff does happen. In all that we are to engage and endure and rescue others.  So, yes I have a target on my back, so do you, and so does everyone else.  Be about the business of loving and caring for others and point them to God’s kingdom.

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Freedom House Update and Continued Prayer: Status hanging in balance- Enter the battle help with prayer and support!

Just received an update from Jim Michaud regarding where things are at related to the final hurdle of licensing. Currently the St. Paul City Attorneys and State of Minnesota officials are discussing working out the final licensing issues.  Please pray for this to be resolved quickly. 

When the licensing question became clear to be a huge final obstacle for moving forward felt God indicate that “there are others in the city” as a reference that He will do the work to get things approved one way or another in His way and in His timing.  This Sunday my mother commented that freedom always comes with cost and battle, so should be no surprise that in things moving forward with Freedom House there would be a battle. Ultimately the facility will serve to help folks battle issues with housing, chemical dependency, and mental illness. Lately, have God direct me to several passages and encouragements that what God initiates He will see it through.  So this will get resolved.

I have been asked a couple times about my involvement with the project. I am a current member of the Board of Directors for the non-profit organization responsible for Freedom House, Kingdom Pathways. The website can be found at www.kingdompathways.org.  I will be responsible for training and educating staff related to mental health screening and skills training. This is something God has put on my heart to help.   

Now outside of the licensing obstacle, a huge major barrier is the finances.  Jim Michaud and his family have given everything. They have not felt freedom given the battle to get things running to do much fundraising.  Yet, support ongoing is needed.  I posted before that there was a need of basically 18,000 dollars worth of costs for the first two months. It has been hard to keep posting about that need because of the ongoing battle to get everything in place to receive state funding and be able to fully move forward.   The need is very real, however and dire.  They need help and if do not get support they can LOSE ALL.  Jim and his family have followed God’s lead at expense to self and with ongoing threats of dire circumstances.  Yet, God carries through. But now is the time to give support. Please give even before word is given on the license situation is complete.  Take a step of faith and trust that God will work it out and give to a ministry that will help those hurting and in bondage.  Help the Battle.  Give and Pray.

Here is the breakdown of needed expenses.

One Time Expenses:

* Board and Lodge license Fees: $1,450
* Commercial Dishwasher Purchase and Install: $4000
* Commercial Sink Purchase and Install: $1000
* General and Professional Liability Insurance Down Payment: $700

Monthly Expenses: (Need Help with January and February)

* 426 Oxford Mortgage: $2,200 

* 1038 Aurora Mortgage: $1,400 

* Debt Payments: $1,100 (Jim and Lori facing Bankruptcy if not paid)
(This is the $ that Jim and Lori put into keeping the houses running and operational covering bare minimum. It is NOT PERSONAL DEBT)

* Household Insurance for both properties: $240
* Gas and Electric for both properties: $925
* Phones and Faxs: $240
* Trash for both properties: $120
* Water for both properties: $260
* Comcast for both properties: $229
* General and Professional Liability Insurance: $150

All payments will be tax deductible, reported to, and reviewed by the Freedom
House managing board shown on the website. Donations can be made on-line at
www.KingdomPathways.org, or sent to Kingdom Pathways, PO Box 4125, St. Paul, MN
55104

 

I look forward and praise God for what He will do.  If you care to give to personal need just designate it. If you have any questions for Jim Michaud feel free to email him at info@kingdompathways.org.

Ministry Spotlight and Urgent Request: Kingdompathways.org: Freedom House

I am on the board of a local ministry that is focusing on helping those chemically dependent with housing issues. It is a Christ-centered ministry that is looking to provide a unique Jesus Christ gospel-centered approach to treatment. The owner and his wife have given all they have to give to get things going as awaiting approval for funding from state to provide treatment/services. They achieve this but now have face another barrier of needing to undergo a zoning change by city in order to operate.  The changes will not happen before the end of the month so they ministry needs basic funds in order to operate this month.  Please go to www.kingdompathways.org and check out the ministry. Feel free to ask me any questions. My responsibilities are to oversee the mental health components of the ministry. The current staff are operating on a volunteer basis until state funds come in. Please prayerfully consider giving to this ministry at this time.   Included is the donation letter written by the ministry owner:

To Whom It May Concern,

Kingdom Pathways is a fully published and audited 501(c)(3) and

described in detail at http://www.KingdomPathways.org.

Kingdom Pathways is a multi-church outreach to the homeless, helping the homeless in practical

ways as described at http://www.KingdomPathways.org. Kingdom Pathways gathers multiple

mainline Christian churches together to do bind together in spirit of the

prayer of Jesus in John 17:20-23.

Kingdom Pathways is currently approved for funding through the State of MN,

awaiting a zoning change, and is currently experiencing grave financial

difficulty in the waiting. The difficulty is in paying the basic housing bills

in waiting for the new funding.

Electric and Gas, food bills, phone, household insurance, water, trash, van

insurance, and mortgages all need to be paid in the waiting. Please consider

assisting us.

Kingdom Pathways founder Jim and Lori have given ALL their savings, ALL their credit, and ALL

their hearts to see this succeed. The board that meets regularly to support this

ministry is impressive. See the picture and bios of the team on the website homepage at

http://www.KingdomPathways.org.

Blessed and Grateful,

Rev. Jim Michaud

Exec. Director

Kingdom Pathways, 501(c)(3)

www.KingdomPathways.org

Addendum: Just read rest of board member email and found this piece:

We have a public hearing for the zoning on November 10th, 3:30PM. Please rally
whomever you can to support us on that day in the St. Paul City Council
Chambers on the 3rd floor of the City Hall/Court House Bldg., on the corner of
Wabasha and Kellogg.  (Change of
Non-Conforming Use Sober Housing to Non-Conforming Transitional Housing, which
we have been for 4 years).

July 4th Musing: Comparing self-determined and God-determined living

Today, Monday July 4th, 2011 is Independence Day, a day of celebration of the birth of the United States of America. It was on this day in 1776 that the Declaration of Independence was sign. It is that document that sets forth the guiding principles of the United States.  The document set forth the principles of freedom that this country was built.  Yes, this country has freedom and self-determination. Today many folks talk about the cost of freedom, that it comes with a price. Certainly the signers of the Declaration of Independence gave their all in support of the concept of freedom proclaimed in that document. However, this article is not about extolling the virtues and cost of the founding principles of this country but rather examine the principles in comparison to God’s Kingdom principles.

The principles at the core of the Declaration was that  people have a choice and are free to set their course.  These principles are summed up with the words “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  In other words, people are free to determine there course including the government they are willing to submit. People are free to make there choice in all areas of life.  They are free to choose their path in life.

The Kingdom of God does not operate on principles of self-determining a path in life. Yes, we have choice but the key element of the Kingdom of God is this “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 16:25 (ESV).  The Kingdom of God is about self-surrender which brings true life. There is much in this world that can be pursued but the only real life, is life in proper relationship with God. It is leaving the world of self-determined choices and surrendering to following God’s leading and God’s way. It is a move from self-determination to God-determination.

The Kingdom of God view of liberty is also different than that of the concept in the Declaration of Independence. The liberty referenced is that of freedom to do whatever one desires as long as it does not interfere with others.  It is freedom from not only oppression but restriction of own desires.  The Kingdom of God principle of liberty is quite different. The Kingdom of God liberty is about freedom from the bondage to sin and self.  It is freedom from the consequences of our selfishness.  Each of us makes choices each day. There are many choices that move away from God and give a momentary pay off that leave one bound and oppressed.  Yet, God offers freedom to all who will take it, but it means surrendering God’s authority. When you do so, freedom from all those choices of the moment is granted and relationship with the Creator is secured. 

The Declaration of Independence indicates that the ultimate goal of all is the “pursuit of happiness.” In  other words, we are to be free to take a path that makes us feel good. It is pursuit of overall well being. It is a pursuit of that which is pleasing.  In the Kingdom of God, the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-12 which offers a different take than that which makes us feel good or pleases us.  Rather, it stands in contrast with brokenness, mercy, righteousness, purity, and persecution as elements valued in God’s Kingdom which is moving being the satisfaction of self known as happiness.

The world today bemoans the pain and suffering.  There are cries for tolerance and letting everyone select their own path toward creating their own good.  Now, self-determination has often resulted in people pursuing goals that bring success and benefit many, but it simply provides means to limit the pain.  Any government can become oppressive and certainly will not please all. There is a better way to live than by the concepts found in the Declaration of Independence when you live in submission to the creator and surrender self to God.  The surrender of self is what is required to join God’s Kingdom. It is His rule and following His determination or it is a self-determined course.  The path of self is filled with illusion and temporary gains, the path of God is that of faith, endurance, and promises of lasting life and happiness as we are transformed and brought in alignment with the Creator’s design and intent.  

Now, we do  have a choice. Each of us. We can choose our path and direction and go by our will, avoiding harm to others.  We can select those who govern us and see if they help or hinder our own and societies well being.  We can seek to live in an ever changing world, altering the social contract as necessary.  The other choice is that of looking beyond this world and entering the Kingdom of God.  It starts with being reconciled with the creator and then results with changes within as we grow and mature as members of God’s kingdom. In God’s Kingdom though all who enter are more than simply subjects, because we are adopted into God’s family. We are selected to a very intimate and select relationship with one who looks for our good always. Yes, even when it does not appear to be so.  It involves entering the eternal contract and surrendering to God’s determination and way.  It is only by doing so can one truly find life, liberty, and happiness for any other way is temporary and illusion leading to bondage.  For it is as stated in John 8:36 (ESV) So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

What is true freedom?

          It is the month of July and at the beginning of the month the focus was on celebrating the forming of the United States of America. The essential element that is celebrated is that of freedom or liberty. We revel in the freedoms of being a citizen of the United States of America. Often times the concept of freedom and liberty is heralded as a foundational element rooted in Christianity. Now the intent of this article is not to dig into all the philosophical foundations of the United States or event that of Liberty and Freedom. Rather, it is to grasp the difference between what is true, freedom found in God and what is the liberty that leads to bondage.
          Now if you examine any philosophical or political writings on liberty you will find reference to two types of liberty, positive and negative liberty. Positive liberty is the freedom to reach your full potential. Negative liberty is the freedom from restraint. The core of both types of liberty is the focus on the individual. It is in essence about self-determination. Being able to fully develop your self and be all that you can be and be free from anything that may restrain. However, liberty in practice recognizes that there needs to be some order, some agreed principles of restraint for there are a wide variety of wills. Thus systems of government were devised with the end result ultimately being establishing the system of government that allows for the choice of the individual coming to a societal consensus. It is the liberty of self-determination impacting society through an agreed social contract established by representation. Granted, the system of government developed in response to corruption, tyranny, and greed of what had gone before. It is a system that has benefited many, but is the core really a biblical concept?
          The liberty of self-determination and social contract are not biblical concepts at all. Perhaps some might argue that concepts of grace and being free from the condemnation of the law are the concepts tied to this concept of liberty. However, the bible does stand against the concept of self-determination. Note it was self-determination that was central to the fall and the twisting of all of creation. Eve and Adam in consuming the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil entered into the ability to self-determine what is right and wrong and move away from dependence on God. They chose to be free of being told what to do by God. Saul got in trouble for doing what he thought was right and going against what God said. Moses got in trouble for his own self-willed and self-determined response of hitting the rock when told to speak. Israel, in the time of the judges, “did what was right in their own eyes” and turned away from God’s ways. One thing that always happened when one chose the way of self over the way of God was consequences. And it is important to note that consequences always impacted more than self, our choices impact others. The Bible is filled with self-determined actions, even for the good of society, which result in consequences that lead to pain, destruction, and suffering.
           So what is the biblical view of freedom? Well everything in the Bible starts and ends with Jesus. Jesus stated “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36 (ESV). According to Isaiah 61 part of Jesus mission was to proclaim liberty to the captives. So the question is, what does the Son set us free from? Before the already mentioned statement Jesus is quite clear what people are saved from. John 8:34 (ESV) Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.”  Jesus is identifying himself as the source of freedom from sin. However, it is not just freedom from sin but also freedom from death. Romans 8:22 (ESV) state “For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”

         Sin and death go hand in hand. Sin is falling short and missing the mark of what God desires. Sin is elevation of self. Sin has consequences. The biblical picture of sin is that to which we are enslaved. It usually does not start that way, but sin does end up in control. Take the nation Israel and there time in Egypt for example. Something that was a source of provision became slavery; very cruel and destructive slavery. Now what Jesus accomplished by being an innocent sacrifice is the potential for anyone to become free from sin. It is all a matter of what we turn to and surrender to. Do we strive to maintain our own life and focus on the elevation of self, or do we surrender to Jesus, who did what was required to purchase freedom from sin. What Jesus did was essentially a contract moving ownership from that of the sin of self back to being realigned with the creator of the universe.

         The transaction of Jesus sacrifice also resulted in allowing for the freedom from death. Jesus defeated death. Death and suffering are direct consequences of acting out of alignment with God’s intent. God proclaimed that disobeying Him brings death. The death meant a lack of fellowship with the creator, a separation from that for which we were created. True freedom brought by the cross brings ultimate freedom from the ultimate consequence of sin. It also gives us a chance to move beyond the consequences of our own sin and the effects and cross the bridge away from death to life. Since God is the creator and author of life, when disconnected from the creator there is death. Jesus provided for us the ability to reconnect to the author of life by taking all consequences of sin upon Him for us, bringing cleansing and freedom by establishing the bridge so that we can access life. Freedom from death means really the ability to truly experience life. The life is not about things for self, but living in harmony with how God created us and surrendering to Him.
There is one more element of what true freedom sets us free from but often misunderstood. The focus of many has become about there being a freedom from the law, yet the concept has become such for many that means we are free to do what we want, as Jesus sacrifice covers all sins. And while, that is true, Jesus himself said he did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. He met the conditions of the contract by which all can be clean before God and he filled up every piece of the contract with meaning. Jesus is what the law is about. So the real freedom is about being established as having freedom in Christ. This freedom is not about self-determining reality, or picking and choosing what is right. Rather, it is about being in right relationship with God. Because of Jesus we no longer have to live up to a set of negotiated instructions that quickly fade from memory. It is about living a relationship and having fellowship with God. The freedom in Christ means that because we are clean, we can have God with us by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And since we have the Holy Spirit and active relationship, we do not need an instruction manual or external list, we have God himself to guide us and even show us what those instructions really mean. The freedom really is moving from an interaction that is dictated by a negotiated contract to a relationship dynamic.
         The dynamic is really defined by how the freedom enables us. First we are free to live in truth. When something operates the way it was intended to operate, that is true freedom. Who is freer? Someone wandering about trying to sort out for self what is true or someone who knows by instruction what is the right way? The bible points out in John 8:31-32 (ESV)  So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” The passage really points to those that are intimate with what is true, they are the ones who are truly free and liberated. We live in a world where lies are the rule of the day. We are saturated with deception, propaganda, and untruths. It is difficult to live in correspondence with truth, but living in truth is true freedom. If people try and hide or run from the truth, it impacts them. Working in the mental health field, there are all sorts of ways people embrace lies or hide from truth. The lies or hiding from painful truths results in much emotional discomfort and even disconnecting from true emotions is a significant issue. Yet, when people recognize what is true and able to identify lies and understand the truth, there is healing and freedom. The world outside life in Christ and life in truth will embrace whatever gets through the day, whatever feels best at moment. Rather than being free, it often results in further and further constriction as patterns replay over and over. When you know what is right, what is true, and what is beneficial you are able to grow and expand and live free. Even in the country of purported freedom, The United States, there are restrictions in order to facilitate everyone freedom. There is recognition that true freedom does involve boundaries, the establishing of what is the correct manner. Here is the greatest deal of the freedom in Christ. When we falter, fail, and fall short of the truth we can start over and learn. What Jesus did allows us to continue to grow and learn, to be more and more aligned with God’s truth. Walking in truth does not just impact us but those around us as well and enables the freedom to walk in love.
          The freedom in Christ also enable us that freedom to walk in love. Love is a misunderstood and distorted concept. In this day and age the concept of love is centered on how others make us feel. Love today is a self-driven quest for satisfaction. Loving relationships and procreation take the highest value in society. Yet, the self-driven love is easily fractured. Ultimately, real, deep, abiding love is not about self-satisfaction. True love is about moving beyond self and building up of others. Now the Bible indicates that the apex of love is giving of your self to the point of death. It involves no care for self at all. True love starts with being in right relationship with truth. True love involves surrendering and pouring all of self to God which in turns frees us to love others completely. It is not just giving without concern for what is returned it is even giving at expense of self. Now you want to know an amazing thing about love. Each of us reflect and give in correspondence with what has been given with us. If our experience of love is limited, our ability to love is limited. Sure, people are able to transcend past their limits at times, but in general, people are able to love others in correspondence with how they have been loved. Now the amazing thing about the Freedom that is in Christ is that there is no greater love. We are able to love others greatly, because we have been loved greatly. We can give of others at expense of self because Jesus loved us so much he died in our place. A great love at a great expense. When you know and experience that love, there are no limits. And our walking in both truth and love are a response to that deep love at great cost. Ever notice that some of the greatest and most moving stories are the ones that show love at great cost. O. Henry’s story “The Gift of the Magi” is a prime example. And it is because of the freedom found in Christ’s love that we are able to give at cost to self.
           In this day and age, love often comes at expense of truth. It is a focus on either building of connected relationships or finding ways of alleviating suffering. Now caring for others and looking out for those in great suffering are part of love, but often is focused on at expense of truth. We can do acts of service even at expense of self, but love without truth is fleeting. We can also point and talk truth but if we have not love in doing so, we become a cutting wedge. No one can truly walk in truth and love without the Freedom of Christ and being right with the Creator. For without being in that right relationship, ultimately everything becomes about satisfying self in one way or another.
           Ultimately, the heart of the matter is true freedom really only comes and surrender of self. Now it is very alluring to seek after the freedom of self-determination. We all want to feel like we have control and ability to shape our lives and meet what we desire. However, ultimately there are only two choices. One choice is that of doing what we self-determine to be right for self. It is a tempting trap, but walking in self-determination is at its very nature the spirit of lawlessness. One the other hand, walking hand in hand with God’s truth in surrender of self, seems tough, difficult and at cost. But such surrender brings great freedom and joy as one is allowed relationship with the creator and grows in living in correspondence with God’s truth and love in our own lives today. This comes down to a choice, serve self or serve the Creator.

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Passion Week Musing: Resurrection Sunday

Today is the day that darkness was defeated. Today is the day everything changed. Today is the day the stone was rolled away. Today is the day the tomb was found empty. Today is the day that the temple was raised again. Jesus is alive. Jesus is risen. Today is the day where when the emotions from the dark Sabbath turn to great rejoicing. The disciples initially were confused, bewildered, and uncertain. How could this be? Jesus alive! Unheard of, could it be? Yes, it in fact was. Oh glorious day. Jesus is alive. He is returned from dead. Not bruised and broken but whole. Yes, he still has the wounds, the scars, but he showed no sign of being hampered by injuries. There is nothing that can measure up to the joy the ecstasy of learning of Jesus rising from the dead. This was the true game changer. What seemed to be cause of hopelessness and despair led to great joy! Suddenly things began to make sense. Jesus became the sacrificial lamb. He fulfilled Passover that all who chose to believe would be saved. He defeat all darkness. He defeated death. He defeated the powers of this world. Why? Because He arose! His victory is why all heaven proclaims “Worthy is the Lamb, Worthy is the Lamb who was slain. Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty!” Praise God the Lord Almighty for Jesus Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Now is the true time to proclaim Hosanna! Hosanna in the highest! Now is the time of true peace on earth, goodwill toward men. His purpose fulfilled. True wholeness, true peace is now available to all receive. Today is the day of salvation. Today is the day the way is made clear. Today is the day that the truth is made known. Today is the day that brings true life. Today is the day that a miserable sinner like me has been transformed to a member of God’s kingdom with a relationship with the creator. This all because HE AROSE! He paid the price. Now I am made clean and whole. Sin has no further charge. I am free! So I celebrate because HE IS RISEN! HIS IS RISEN INDEED! Today is the day of the beginning of the end.  God’s love fully revealed.  All restoration made possible.  God’s kingdom come.  AMEN!

Haiti Days of Prayer and Repentance

 Received this via Andrew Strom’s email list. 

AMAZING MIRACLE in HAITI

Jerry Miel is a radio engineer who served as a
missionary in Haiti with World Team mission when we lived there.
He worked with the Christian station, Radio Lumiere (Radio Light).
He has gone back to Haiti to help in the aftermath of the earthquake
and makes these important observations. — Boxley

AN INCREDIBLE DAY in the HISTORY OF HAITI
-by Jerry Miel (Feb 17). (actually per this blog article: http://haitiinhishands.blogspot.com/2010/02/incredible-day-in-history-of-haiti.html the article was written on February 12th.)

I think that I will remember this day as one of the most significant
in my life, not because of what I did, but for it’s meaning…

Today was the one month anniversary of the great Haitian earthquake.

About 3 days ago the Haitian President announced that there
would be 3 days of holiday from work for the purpose of fasting
and prayer.  This is absolutely historic.  If you have ever been in
Haiti as a visitor or missionary, could you ever have imagined
such a pronouncement? Could you image such an announcement
from the U.S. President?  This morning I saw a young Haitian-
American woman, the leader of a work team, crying because the
Americans could not understand the incredible importance of this
day and wanted to go about business as usual. Remember, it was
only about 6 years ago that a former Haitian president called the
nation to come together to rededicate the nation to Satan.

This was not “a minute of silence for the deceased” or something
as equally insignificant.  Whatever the President might have
originally intended, this became a real commitment for the Haitian
people.  As I sit here this evening, I can hear the preaching coming
from a nearby church.  Services have been going on all day…

Let me tell you what I saw and felt today.

Peniel and I had planned an inspection trip up to the Artibonite
Valley today. Right or wrong, I don’t really know, but since it was
the only opportunity, we went ahead with the trip.  As we left the
guest house about 7:30 am, we were met by throngs of well
dressed people headed to various churches.  The sounds of
Christian music and worship filled the air everywhere.  The next
observation was that there was NO traffic. Port-au-Prince streets
are always clogged and overflowing with bumper to bumper traffic.
This morning there were only a few vehicles on the roads, a few
small buses (tap taps), some UN and military vehicles, and a few
private cars.  We had clear sailing through town.  The same was
true of foot traffic.  Usually the streets are clogged also with
people walking.  Today there were only a few and many of them
dressed for church.  The only place that there were traffic blocks
was in front of several churches where the congregations had
overflowed the buildings and the yards and had moved out into
the streets as well.

The next observation was that EVERYTHING was closed!  We
could not find even one business or gas station open.  There were
no intercity buses running.  Whereas the sidewalks are usually
overflowing with millions of street venders, we only saw a few here
and there.  The huge outdoor market near the wharf where
thousands work each day and is  spread out to cover most of the
street, was EMPTY.

Where were all the people?  They were in churches and makeshift
meeting sites. Every church (except a JW church) had services
going on, almost always overflowing into the streets.  Beside
broken down churches, services were taking place outside.  In
homeless camps, there were services.  Everywhere the nation was
gathered to worship and pray.  No, I did not see any voodoo,
Islamic, or Buddhist services.  This scene was repeated in every
town and hamlet that we passed during the day.

Tonight, Pastor Ignace, who is sharing the room with me, asked
this question: “Can people still say that Haiti is a voodoo country?”
What has been happening and is continuing to happen in Haiti did
not happen because of the earthquake. It has been happening
because the Haitian people know how to pray. This is a tremendous
outpouring of God’s power as the result of prayer.  Twenty years
ago I started praying for the Gospel to change the Haitian culture.
I think that I am seeing God do that work.

The only sadness that I feel today is for our nation.  While a nation that has long been under Satan’s domination is turning to God with total commitment, our nation, founded on Godly values has rejected God and rapidly trying to forget that his name even exists.  Let us pray for revival.

4-MIN VIDEO of HAITI DAYS of PRAYER-