Showdown at Haiti Hut
This is a true story. Every word of it is true as I recall it.
A few years ago, I was on a missionary journey in Haiti. The ministry director took us out one day to go from hut to hut and minister to the people. Where we were in Haiti, the people live in homes that would fit inside most people’s living rooms. They are often made of concrete, cinder block, or scrap wood that has been cobbled together to create some barrier from the outside elements. The huts are normally grouped together in small villages that are often less than a half a mile apart. Essentially, they bear a strong resemblance to small, homeless camps that pop up here in the US.
As we went from hut to hut, we would present the resident of each hut with a small bag of rice and a small bag of beans. We would declare that these gifts were brought to them in the name of Jesus and then we would ask the people if we could pray with them. Most people were very open and thankful for the gift of food.
In the last village that we visited, a very tall woman stepped out of a cinder block hut and walked directly to me. Before I could say a word, she began to berate me in perfect English. “You Americans have been coming here for a hundred years. What have you accomplished? You bring food, and money, and your religion, and look at us: we are still in a miserable state. Stop wasting your time and leave us alone. Aren’t there people who are suffering in your own country? You should take care of them.”
As the woman spoke there was something quite familiar about her. It was not her face. It was not her voice. It was the things that she said and the way that she said them. I had heard all these things before. These were the very words that the Enemy had whispered in my ears time and time again as I attempted to do my part to advance the Gospel and to live as Jesus would in this world. In that moment, I became fairly convinced that I was having a conversation with a demon. That was a first for me. I was not afraid. To be honest, I was a little bit irritated.
I responded with the spiritual equivalent of a kick in the groin. I put a big smile on my face, looked her right in the eyes, and began to speak the name of Jesus. “We are here today in the name of Jesus. Jesus sent us. We want you to know that Jesus cares about you and that Jesus wants you to be a part of his Kingdom. Jesus cares about Haiti and he cares about you. I am giving you this rice and beans in the name of Jesus and I want to know how I can pray for you.”
… “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” Luke 12:17b ESV
The woman, her countenance softened, began to speak. She began to speak in Creole. As it turned out, she could not speak a lick of English, and I had to use an interpreter from that point forward. The tall woman began to tell about the death of her husband and her son and how heartbroken she was. As the tears flowed down her weathered cheeks, I prayed for her and ministered to her in the name of Jesus. It was an incredible moment of ministry.
A word to the wise: Do not make a game of wrestling with demons. Do not allow yourself to become prideful as demons fall away easily while you are on the mission field. Do not allow yourself to think that you are victorious over the darkness in your own strength. Our authority comes from Jesus alone. It is HIS authority. Be thankful that Jesus has chosen to let you be involved in His ministry and be citizen of His Kingdom. Be humble.
Jesus said, “Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Luke 12:18 ESV
Photo Note: My camera was stolen the day I landed in Haiti, so I have no photos. The photo I used with this post is of a Haitian woman that reminds me of the woman that confronted me in my story. Photo by Bill Hamway on Unsplash