Thursday 4 November 2010

Ryan Lawson's Haiti report

Haiti Trip Report - Part V

Towards the end of the night, one of our interpreters pulled me aside and brought me a young man for prayer. The guy standing in front of me was covered in tattoos, had about thirty piercings, with little bits of bone and other stuff stuck in them and he had several amulets hanging around his neck. He looked up at me with some seriously crazy eyes! I could tell by the nature of his trinkets that he was a Voodoo priest. I agreed to pray for him and laid my hands on his head. I called down the fire of God on him and he just stared me straight in the face and smiled. After a moment or two, I grabbed a handful of the amulets hanging around his neck and said, “You are going to have to get rid of these!” When I said that, he let out a nutty laugh and then turned and RAN AWAY! Not walked, not trotted, RAN! My interpreter just shrugged as if to say “What can you do?”

The first night of the crusade was awesome. We came back to the rented house where we were staying totally exhausted, but exhilarated by what Jesus had accomplished. We were eagerly anticipating the second night.

When Pastor Paul picked us up for day two of the crusade, the weather was nasty. The closer we got to the crusade grounds, the worse the weather was with thunder, lightning and heavy rain. I placed a call back home to get our folks praying for the event. Our team stayed in the van praying for the weather to break while it poured on the crusade grounds. The weather didn’t’ let up at all, in fact, it got worse. In spite of the terrible weather, there were still a few hundred people out milling around the field. The crusade grounds backed up to a makeshift tent city and most of these people only had simple stick and sheet shelters to protect them from the sun. They would get just as wet inside the tent as they would in the field and had no real protection from the harsh weather. The band was under a tarp on stage and started to play. So instead of sit inside their tent and get wet, they began to worship as the band played and the singers sang.

Some of the kids we worshiped with

The children came out in force and began worshiping with all their heart. Humbled by their commitment, we got out of the van and began to worship the Lord with them. We worshiped the Lord with all our hearts, singing and dancing with the people for 2-3 hours out in a lightning storm! Maybe 1,000 people were out there before all was said and done. Darkness settled in and the stage lights would not work due to the rain, so we worshiped in the dark, illuminated only by the lightning strikes. It was surreal. Thinking back about it though, this was one of the most memorable moments of our trip and the most powerful. Here were these folks who had absolutely nothing materially, yet they possessed everything of value, the Presence of God! We were ruined by their worship.

After praying for all the sick in a very wet fire tunnel, we went home completely soaked and worn out.

The third night was our last night at the crusade and our last night in Haiti. We prayed fervently that day for good weather and an explosion of God’s power. The meeting began like the others, with fervent worship and praise. We were down in the crowd worshiping with the people when a chill ran down the back of my neck and a tingling ran down my spine. Without even turning around I knew that a Voodoo priest was cursing us. I turned around and there he was, about 50 feet away and staring right at me! It was the same guy from the first night of the crusade. He had all the trinkets, earrings, but now he had a little PVC staff with fetishes hanging from it. He looked me right in the eyes and smiled with a wicked grin.

He was there to make things interesting!

I turned and faced him and smiled right back as if to say, “Let’s do this!” I watched him and he began pacing around the crusade grounds. He pulled things out of a little bag on his neck and spread them on the ground. He spit, he urinated, and he made little circles with his feet and was doing all sorts of weird stuff. I scanned the crusade grounds and could spot a couple other Voodoo priests as well. They were pretty easy to spot. While everyone was worshiping, they would stand there motionless and every once in a while do weird stuff with the hands and face. I walked over to where our team was worshiping and said, “There are witches in the meeting, PRAY!” I walked up and stood on the stage with Pastor Paul to scan the crowd.

Healed of Rheumatoid Arthritis!

Worship took off! The presence of God rolled in like a cloud and people praised and worshiped with all of their heart. Pastor Paul broke the moment to introduce the team from our church and they all told testimonies of God’s power to heal, save and deliver. He then brought up a gentleman we had prayed for several days before. He testified that he had severe rheumatoid arthritis in his legs and knees and for the last 3 years had received cortisone shots EVERY DAY! He had been in severe pain for years and was totally healed when we prayed for him!

Come on Jesus!

After telling testimonies, Pastor Paul took us through the huge crowd, praying for many people in his church that needed healing and deliverance. A group of about 15 women that were being terrorized in their sleep by demons received deliverance instantly. Wherever we went, people would reach out to touch our clothes and would grab our hands and put them on their bodies for prayer. I was getting totally messed up in the Holy Ghost and for a while totally forgot about the witches in the meeting. We were all done praying for the select folks from his church and made our way back to the stage. There was a guy standing next to the stage in a striped shirt and a big afro. When I walked by, he made all these weird hand gestures at me like he was doing kung-fu. In my Holy Ghost inebriated state I thought, “I need to whack him in the face with my hanky!” He just looked like he needed a good hanky whacking! So I stood there for a minute and hit him in the face with my hanky again and again. I walked away and thought nothing more of it.

The Presence of God in Worship!

The meeting was amazing. The presence of God rolled in during worship and you could feel the glory of God settle across the people. We encouraged folks to reach out and receive their healing and the life of God. We preached a very simple message of the Kingdom, brought many more people to the Lord and then prayed for the sick.

It was glorious.

But the best part was when we were back at the house for the night, sharing with one another all that Jesus did during the crusade. Pastor Paul very simply stated that the best part for him was the prominent witch doctor that came to the Lord that night. We stopped him and said, “Excuse me? What witch doctor?” He then told us of this evil witch doctor that was known throughout the region for killing and maiming many people through his voodoo. He was very powerful, feared and well known throughout the region. I asked him, “Well, who was he?” Thinking it was maybe my buddy with the PVC staff. He said, “Oh, you don’t know? I thought for sure you knew who it was!” I said, “I have no idea, who was it?!”

Pastor Paul told me that when we had gone through the crowd and headed back up to the stage he looked down and saw me standing in front of this witch doctor. I was standing in front of him, hitting him in the face with my hanky! It was the guy I was popping with my hanky on the side of the stage! When Pastor Paul saw me hitting him in the face, he looked down and his hands were shaking. Knowing who this guy was, he feared for my life! But I had no clue! I just thought he was a weirdo that needed a smack in the face with a hanky! Ignorance is sometimes bliss you know… Whatever happened in that moment, I don’t know, but what I do know is that this evil, powerful witch doctor came forward at the altar all and gave his life to Jesus that night!

Jesus is King over Voodoo!

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