This was taken from a letter from Gretchen, our mom, written in June 1994. They had lived in Haiti for 6 months and there was an embargo and sanctions in place. Aristide was elected president of Haiti in 1990, but was overthrown in a military coup in 1991. The embargo was finally lifted in Sept 1994. During this trying time, she saw people dying as they attempted to crawl to their gate for help, people fighting over horse meat (road kill) due to hunger, and Zach & her were held at gunpoint by the military. There was much suffering during this time, but mom still held fast to God’s promises.
I’m sitting here trying to find the describe our feelings and express to you what is going on in Haiti. Haiti is a hard place. Haiti burns you. Haiti rubs you raw. Haiti is like a pedestal that grinds. Haiti is a refining pot. Haiti is like sandpaper. All this is true and much more.
Life is very hard for the Haiti and getting harder every day because of the embargo and sanctions. Prices have doubled or more on many items. Goods are of short supply or completely unavailable. For example, there is a shortage of cooking oil. We use 77 gallons a month in our feeding programs and to cook rice and beans for the children. The price goes up daily and rumor says that soon it will be non-existent.
There are many mixed emotions and feelings one experiences here. The rumors are many and if you listen to all of it you would be driven crazy. In the natural, it can be scary and frightening, but in the spiritual, it is exciting. God is going to do something supernatural in Haiti and we are right in the midst of it. These are all signs of the end times. Are you ready? I believe every word in the Bible and stand on the Word of God because all else is sinking sand. The Bible tells us He will never let you stand more than you can bear and He will always make a way of escape. There is an excitement and satisfaction that is rising up in us as we walk the Christian walk in life, instead of just talking the talk. Brother and sisters, it is scary to think how far away we are from being the men and women of God that we need to be in this hour. I thank God every day for conforming me into the likeness and image of His Son Jesus, even though it is painful at times. That is my hearts desire and cry, to every day make me more like Jesus. Hallelujah! Praise God forever!
I have such a burden in my heart for the country and people of Haiti. We have a prenatal/infant clinic in the village of Titanyen about 1 mile from our home. I walk to work both to save fuel and for the exercise. As I go, I pass many people and look into many eyes. These are people who God calls precious. They have families, cares, and concerns, but on a much different scale than Americans experience. There is no electricity, no running water, no toilets. Water for drinking, bathing and washing clothes must be carried long ways by buckets Haitian are cheerful and determined – many love God. Many more need to find Jesus and invite Him to reign over their lives.
Yesterday, as I was walking, some children called to me, “Madame Hallelujah” (because Zach is known around here as Brother Hallelujah and a woman is called by her husband’s name). We talked for a while. They were on their way to get water. The two girls, 8 and 9 years old, both had 5 gallon buckets they would fill and carry home on their heads. The boy, about 5, had 2 gallon jugs. They told me they were hungry and had nothing to eat that morning. I told them that I had no food with me. Then one of the girls took my hand and put it on her head and asked me to pray for them, which I did. I kissed them and they went on their way laughing and singing. I went on my way with tears of grief and anguish for the impoverished conditions here.
When I got to the clinic, our first patient was a 21 month old girl who weighed 11 pounds 9 ounces. Before the morning was over, I had two mothers who tried to give me their children out of desperation for their welfare. Several times throughout the day I had opportunity to pray with people for their needs. Am I discouraged? NO! I am so blessed to be able to share in the lives people whom God loves. It is a privilege to offer hope, peace, love, and joy that is available to those whose mind is stayed on Him.
The boat is getting very rocky here, but we can’t abandon ship. God called us to a work here. He sent us on a mission, Just as God is faithful to us, we must be faithful to His Will for our lives. We are compelled to stay and do all we can to advance the Kingdom of God. I am heartsick about the stronghold the devil holds over this nation. Outside forces are strangling Haiti; people are losing hope. AS you pray for us and Haiti, pray God’s Will be done – whatever it takes to save souls and set the captives free.
Please read Philippians 1:2-11. This is my prayer for you. I praise God for all of our family and friends. Thank you for your love, support, prayers, letters,and calls. Keep drawing closer to God. Jesus is coming soon. Give someone encouragement today. The love of Jesus does make a difference in lives the world over.
You are in our hearts,
We greet you with the grace and peace that comes from God our Father and our Master, Jesus Christ. Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God’s Message, from the day you heard it right up to the present. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.
It’s not at all fanciful for me to think this way about you. My prayers and hopes have deep roots in reality. You have, after all, stuck with me all the way from the time I was thrown in jail, put on trial, and came out of it in one piece. All along you have experienced with me the most generous help from God. He knows how much I love and miss you these days. Sometimes I think I feel as strongly about you as Christ does!
So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.