"The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life." (John 10:10 NLT)
Celia and I just returned from a great week in Haiti, with a team from ACF. We have been to Reynosa, MX several times and are familiar with poverty in a third world setting, but there was a desperation in Haiti that felt different from anything we have seen before. As we spent time there, we learned that during the slaves' revolt in 1791, they sacrificed a pig to Satan and committed the island to him for 200 years if he would help them win. As a result of their victory, evil gained a solid foothold in Haiti.
The tracks of the devil are all over Haiti. Trash is everywhere, raw sewage runs down the side of the streets, slums seem to go on and on and on. Value for life is not the same as it is here, or any other place I have been before. When I see what the devil has done, Jesus' words about him ring very true: he has come to steal, kill and destroy.
It occurred to me that Satan could care less about people that have pledged their lives to him. Can you imagine someone pledging their life, the lives of their children, to you and your response is to not care, to deceive and pursue evil for those who dedicated themselves to you? As I spent time in the streets of Haiti last week and observed what the devil has been up to for the last 200+ years, I became very angry.
In a way that only Jesus works, He didn't allow me to just be angry. He also overwhelmed me with His love for the people of Haiti and showed me some great things He is doing to reach these people. Our team worked alongside some heroes of missions (Steve Geyer and his team from Heritage). We met and helped a few superheroes: Miriam, who runs New Life Children's Home, Stan Horrell with Mission Discovery, and Pastor Vincent who runs a school and feeds 1500 kids every day in the world's second largest slum.
In the second sentence of John 10:10, Jesus promised that He gives us a rich and satisfying life. Never has the distinction been more clear for me: the death and evil of the devil vs. the abundant life Jesus offers His followers. Miriam, who has loved and served the forgotten children of Haiti for 35+ years, taught me that she learned to really love these people by asking Jesus to give her His eyes and His ears so she could see and hear these people like Jesus does. Her stories of rescuing many of these beautiful children will blow you away.
Now I am back in Austin, amazed by the many blessings of being from here and reminded of my responsibilities. I think Jesus wants me to ask Him for His eyes and ears to see the people of Northwest Austin like He sees them. He will reach Haiti (I pray we will play a part) just like He will reach Northwest Austin (we are a part). Pray with me for Jesus to give You His eyes and ears for your neighbors and friends, so no matter what they are saying or doing today, we can love them in a way that brings them to their Savior.
Grace and Peace,