- Religion and Philosophy
"Dealing with a Vagabond Spirit" - Healing the Land in a Haitian Village
A Follow-up to a previous Hub: Mission to Haiti
In 1999, the Lord led Pastor Pierre Fedner of St. Marc, Haiti, to organize a crusade in the small mountain village of "Nombaka" ("voodoo place"), on the island of La Gonave, Haiti. More than 150 villagers surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ. Not wanting to be identified as the "voodoo place" anymore, they re-named their town to "Zone 27." Later, Pierre partnered with Shelly Holcomb, a missionary from Oldsmar, FL, and founder of The Haiti Project, to disciple the entire community by providing a school, a church, a water supply and daily food for hundreds of children. What follows is “the rest of the story…”
Shelly comes to know me as one who would pray for their bi-annual mission trips to Haiti. In 2004, she asks if I would travel there with her team in January. I agree to go after the Lord shows me I am to walk the land and bless it. He shows me how Haiti and its people are a vagabond nation, how the land is defiled and people go hungry because the land won’t yield up its strength to them. He gives me a message for the village about how to make a “covenant of peace with the stones” so that the land is healed and their relationship with the land is restored.
On arrival in Haiti, I see the devastation of the land; the rocks, the thorns, the sparse grass…that there are no trees and so little water…and I weep. I am reminded of Songs 4:12-15: "You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride: you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain."
On the 4th day of our mission a brother and I prayer-walk the village: We prophesy over the land and bless it. At the school, Ezekiel 48:35 comes to mind, "And the name of the city from that time on will be, THE LORD IS THERE" I ask our interpreter how to say, “The Lord is there,” in Creole. He tells me and I proclaim, “The name of this place from this time on will be: “Bon Dye La!”
On the 6th day, at Sunday services, the Lord’s name for the village, “Bon Dye La,” is shared with the church. The people take up the chant, “Bon Dye La! Bon Dye La!" “The Lord is there!” I love God’s sense of humor! Voodoo Place is now the Lord’s place!
**Pastor Pierre received the message and scripture the Lord provided me about how the earth remembers those who defile it, how a vagabond spirit and a curse on the land are responsible for much of Haiti’s impoverishment, how Jesus redeemed the land and how His people can reclaim the land and make “a covenant of peace with the stones” (Job 5:23) so that the earth will yield up its strength and goodness to the people.
Bon Dye La is greener today. It is said that trees and new varieties of crops grow now where none grew before. Mangos are dropping, both in and out of season. The villagers are not so hungry, the village is more prosperous and the people are happier...you can see it on their faces. The Lord is there…Praise God!
**NOTES: Scripture as related to Pastor Pierre on Sunday, Jan 30 on “How to Deal with a Vagabond Spirit" ...a sermon delivered by Pastor Langton Gatsi of Zimbabwe, Sept 19, 2004, in Jerusalem.
· Luke 19:10 ~ The Lord came to seek and to save that which was lost.
· Gen 3:17 ~ Man’s relationship with the land was one thing that was lost.
· Gen 4:8-12 ~ Cain sheds innocent blood, defiles the land, becomes cursed, a vagabond on the earth.
· Isaiah 24:4-5 ~ The earth can be defiled
· Deut 30:19, Jer 22:29-30 ~ The earth remembers, records everything you do.
· Gen 4:10:11, Ps 109:6-17 ~ Evidence of the vagabond spirit.
· Ezek 20:7, Lev 19:31: Idolatry defiles the land
· Num 35:33-34 ~ Shedding innocent blood defiles the land
· Lev 18 (all, especially verses 24-25, 28, “the earth vomits you out”) ~ Sexual sin defiles the land.
· Isaiah 24:5-6 ~ Breaking the covenant…the ordinances of God…defiles the land.
· 2 Chron 7:14 ~ Repentance brings healing to the land
· Ezek 34:25-30 ~ Make a covenant of peace with God
· Job 5:19-26 (especially verse 23) ~ Make a covenant of peace with the stones.