In February of 2016 God allowed me to go on my first missions trip to Haiti, also known as the devil’s backyard. Now when I say that God “allowed me to go” I mean that He told me to go. A few years ago I was adamant that I would never go on a missions trip or be a missionary. Never. I didn’t mind being involved in ministry here at home, but don’t ask me to scrape together some money, buy a plane ticket, and fly to another country where I would be without the comfort of home.
God clearly did not understand my objections though, because as I was praying that God would help me have more faith one day in August of 2015, I felt the Lord gently impress upon me the idea of going to Haiti with a group from my church that was scheduled to go a few months later. I got that nervous feeling you do when you know God is trying to tell you something that your flesh probably won’t like. So I continued to pray about it, and the nervous feeling grew and grew until one day a few weeks later, there was an announcement in church that anyone interested in the trip was to meet together after service. So, after service ended, I went to the meeting, finally saying, “okay Lord You’ve got me, I’ll go.”
One of the things about Haiti is that the natives truly embrace the reality of the spiritual realm, but not in a good way. There are Houngans and Mambos (Vodou priests and priestesses) that actually serve real demons. They call upon their power to heal the sick, give prosperity, etc. Some even do so knowing that the demon will claim their life one day. So many people there are involved in Vodou because they see immediate results. A lot of them know about God, but they choose Satan instead because of what he gives them in this life, no matter what they must sacrifice. In some cases, children are what they must sacrifice. It is heartbreaking really.
When we were there and visited Vodou camps, we told them that if they really do believe in the Bible (which most of them do), and they believe in God as well as Satan, then it’s obvious from Scripture that God has, and will always have, power over Satan and will defeat him.
“The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” –
On a more encouraging note, we were able to visit camps and villages that had already accepted the gospel or were at least open to it, and its members would often hold Bible studies together. It was refreshing to watch the new Christians ask question after question with an excited look on their face. Haiti truly does play host to some of the most beautiful people.
Before our group left for the trip, each of us was assigned a family in Haiti to sponsor through prayer, committing to pray for them every day. We were given a picture and a brief description of their occupation, which really allowed me to form a relationship with my family even before I set foot in Haiti. Our group even traveled to where a member of that family, Claudia, works as a teacher. It was a privilege to meet and pray with her.
Several parts of Haiti are also quite picturesque. This picture to the left was taken when we were on our way to a water basin called Bassin-Bleu. There we swam in fresh, clear blue water, and some of us took the opportunity to jump off the highest ledge into the water which was easily the craziest thing I’ve done in my life!
God, as per usual, knew exactly what He was doing when He led me to travel to Haiti. Because of the people I met, places I saw, and even the morning and evenings times I spent with my group talking about the Lord and what we did that day, my eyes were opened to a part of the rest of the world that doesn’t have it as good as we do here in America, and it has made me realize not just how real the spiritual realm is, but how the Lord has power over all of it.