This first month in Haiti, God has taught me so much about prayer. I have grown in leading others in prayer, praying throughout the day, and praying in front of others. One of the things we often do on a team’s first day is to go on a prayer walk. When I told a group that we were going to go on a prayer walk, they weren’t sure how to do it. Previously, I have had groups that literally pray and walk, but I felt like I needed to come up with something different for this group.
So, I started praying and thinking about how to do this prayer walk. We started walking from Jose and Jody’s house and I felt led to take the team by the police station. There I asked the team to pray for the justice system in Haiti and for the victims of abuse and sex trafficking who need the police to start protecting them. The next place we walked to was the shore where many of the fishing boats dock. At the shore, I asked the group to pray for the men and boys who go out every morning in hopes of catching enough fish to feed their family and some extra to sell at the market. I also asked the team to pray for the men’s safety at sea, because it is a dangerous job.
After the shore, we walked to where the Catholic Church, the national school, the Baptist mission, and the town soccer field are. There I explained how in Haiti the Catholic Church and voodoo are intertwined. This is a devastating combination as the Scriptures and voodoo practices are preached in the same service. I also asked the group to pray for all of the students in the schools who were preparing for their national exams that determine whether they passed their grade.
Our last stop was the mission’s property. We stopped and prayed over the new clinic that is being built. We prayed that God would continue to use Jody to bring physical and spiritual healing to the Mole. We then walked to the Castillos’ new house and prayed that God would bless it and that the building would become a home of peace for their family. Right next to their house is Miss Beth’s house/the Castillo kids’ classroom/intern room. Here we prayed for Miss Beth as she continues to teach the kids, among her many other ministries and for current and future Mole interns. From there we went and prayed over the new cafeteria, school, staff homes, and orphanage on our campus and the other NWHCM orphanages.
We prayed that the school and cafeteria would be filled with kids who are being loved and receiving a Christian education. We prayed that the staff would be unified and grow closer to God. At the orphanage, we prayed for the mamas who take such great care of those kids and we prayed that the kids would grow ever closer to God. Our last stop was the church. Right now we are meeting in an army tent, but the outline for where the building will be was laid out and so it was awesome to begin praying about how God will use the building when it is built.
We also spent time praying for the interim pastor, Pastor Agenor, as he ministers here while Samboe is at Bible college. We also prayed that God would raise up men who love Him and who will boldly lead the church. Through this prayer walk, God taught me a lot about His heart for the Mole. He also opened my eyes to just how much I love this place and want to see the things we prayed about to come into completion.
God also been teaching me the importance of staying in constant communication with Him. Praying for strength, energy, and patience is something I do several times each day. Being an intern can be a rough job. Somedays you feel like a babysitter or camp counselor, but other days you feel like Moses or Joshua as you lead teams in ministry. The days that I feel like a babysitter or camp counselor are normally the days when I am not in constant communication with God. They are the days when I feel overwhelmed and stressed. They are the days when I allow Satan’s lies to cover up God’s voice as He is trying to tell me to refocus on Him. But when I stop listening to the lies and do refocus on God, my days turn into the days when I feel like Moses as I lead teams in ministry. Those are the days when God uses me to successfully lead groups through crazy Vacation Bible Schools. Those are the days when amazing prayer walks happen. Those are the days when God uses me to encourage individual members of the group. Those are the days when I finish the day empty and full of peace that I was able to glorify God through every punch and jab that was thrown my way. None of that is possible when I stop communicating with God. This has meant that I do have to wake up earlier each morning in order to start my day by communicating with God, but losing sleep is SO worth it.
The other area of prayer that God has really been stretching and growing me is in praying in front of others. Before this summer, I never hated praying in front of others, but I didn’t jump at every chance to do it either. This past month, God has equipped me and given me a heart and a passion for praying in front of others. Now, I feel like I need to clarify that when I say praying in front of others I don’t mean like the Pharisees but praying aloud for a group. Before this summer, whenever I would pray in front of others I always felt awkward and nervous about what I should say. This summer, God has been teaching me that I can’t be worrying about that, because I am not talking to the people I am with, I am talking to Him. He wants to hear what’s on my heart. And boy, has He been teaching me how to pray about what is on my heart and also what He places on my heart. It’s no coincidence that this has been happening on the last night devotion for our past two groups.
The first time, God placed on my heart that we all needed to circle up and pray for one of a group member because his son who was in the hospital. Through this time of prayer, God not only brought peace to the worried dad, but He also used it to bring unity among all of us. It was amazing. The next time was after Emily had finished giving the last night devotion and we had sung our last worship song. I really didn’t know what I was going to say but I knew that I needed to say something. I started out by saying thanks to the team for their encouragement and hard work throughout the week. I also thanked them for encouraging me as a leader because sometimes I have moments where I freak out about how young I am and all the responsibilities that God has given me as I lead groups. After thanking them, I did the normally ending thing, prayed.
This prayer started out like prayers normally do, but soon the Holy Spirit took over and I begin to pray with a passion that I have never had before. The Spirit lead me to pray over the group as they headed home to have boldness to minister at home like they had in Haiti. He lead me to pray over our interpreters as they also headed back home. I honestly don’t remember all that I said, but I remember how the power of the Holy Spirit inside of me felt and I remember how I barely had a voice when I was finished. I also remember wanting to open my eyes during the prayer to see if everyone else was as surprised by what was coming out of my mouth as I was. But because I didn’t want it to stop I kept my eyes shut. At the end, all I could say was Mesi! Mesi! I felt completely emptied and completely filled all at once. It was incredible.
My prayer is that God will continue to teach me about prayer and to stretch me. Miss Beth and us interns are actually going through Discerning the Voice of God right now, and I can already tell that God is going to use this to teach me more about prayer and listening to His voice. I am excited but also overwhelmed by how powerful that is! I am stationing myself to hear His voice.
Habakkuk 2:1- I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what He will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint.
Bondye beni ou!