Concluding a weekend of fasting and praying for Haiti

This past weekend may go down as a historic turning point for the nation of Haiti. The earthquake is one of the biggest events in the nation's history. The response to the devastation will determine Haiti's future in the near term and probably the long term. I think many Haitians understand this. They are crying out to God for mercy and salvation. Over the weekend vast numbers of Haitians gathered in churches, homes, and villages to seek God's will for the nation. Many thousands congregated outside the palace all weekend long to pray. They are humbling themselves before God. It seems to me, and the Manasseros, that the real question is one of obedience. Will Haitians observe a true fast as in Isa 58, where fasting is accompanied by righteousness, love for one's neighbor and care for the outcasts? Will they humble themselves, pray, and seek God's face AND reject evil as in 2 Chron 7:14? In other words, as always, Jesus is looking at the conditions of people's hearts, as he always does. Are Haitians ready to follow Jesus on a wide scale? If we are discerning what the Spirit is saying, that seems to be the main theme.

The weekend was beautiful and inspiring. I am really touched by the way Haitians pour out their hearts in prayer and worship. We Americans could learn a lot from them. They praise God with abandon -- singing out, waving their arms, and dancing. That might sound like any other pentecostal worship meeting, but there is something different here. Being passionate in worship and prayer is not a matter of being "pentecostal" over against not being "pentecostal." That's not an issue at all here, so you don't have the awkwardness of many American pentecostal meetings I have been in. For these people, passion in worship and prayer is in their blood. It just flows naturally. They are exuberant people, and you can't help but get caught up in their energy in worship. But they are also capable of retreating in prayer very quietly for long periods of time. I don't know quite how to describe all of this. I only know that I like the feel of things when Haitians are praying and worshiping.

Another hallmark of the weekend is the inspiring sight and sounds of worship rising up all over the city. You could hear it all weekend long. A shout from this direction, praise from that direction, all rising up over the city all weekend long.

Word has it that President Preval accepted Christ over the weekend. We will see what that means as time goes on.

Other hightlights from yesterday...
-- Getting to preach for the third time this weekend. I talked out of Isa 58 yesterday, asking the question: "What happens when we walk out the door and end the fast? Will our hearts stay faithful to God?"

-- Celebrating Isguerda's birthday with her. Isguerda is our sponsor child, and she thinks of us as her American family. I can't believe I was here to celebrate with her!

-- Praying with more of the kids. I love doing that relational ministry with the kids!

-- Yucking it up with the boys at the end of the evening. A favorite topic of conversation among all those teenage boys is girls. Go figure. And it turns out that several of the boys want to marry Lauren. They love to jockey for position, trying to be the first in line for her hand. It's really funny to tease them!


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