Good Friday Jonathan went down to Cité Soleil after a year of absence. A year filled with violent conflicts that prevented us from returning. The situation has not changed and has been even worse in recent months. Families who could afford it have left the area. There remain those who have no choice and who survive amid the wars between the gangs. Despite the situation, Jonathan had been feeling for some time that God was pushing him to go down to preach the gospel and pray for the sick, but was waiting for God to speak to Flore who was quite adamant that it was too risky.
Then one evening, God spoke, a vision, a word and everything became clear.
Good Friday, the day he gave his own life to save many, what a beautiful day to go down to Cité Soleil to announce this good news. That day, I went down with a Tap-Tap (Haitian public transport) to avoid being noticed. We had to pass an enemy zone where gangs can stop cars, search and rob passers-by, then cross a “no man’s land” where the two camps face each other. Finally a river which is often targeted by gunfire. There was a pit in my stomach as I saw the roads that have deteriorated, the sandbags piled up as a barriers for the gangs, the police station burned, men moving on the roads with machine guns.
Arriving in our area, I am relieved. Children run over me happy to see me again after so long. Faces light up, people greet me, I’m back home. Unfortunately the gang leaders do not think so much and it is in the midst of great discussion, conflict and weapons ready to fire that we had to come to an agreement.
Thank you Lord for your wisdom and for the men of peace you placed in Cité Soleil.
I walk in the small alleys to visit families. I stop in their mostly one-room houses and take time to read the Bible with them, pray, and invite them to our food distribution. I see Jo, an old friend, his eyes fill with tears, we can finally hug each other. I also see suffering, despair, but what better than a Good Friday to bring hope, Jesus, the Risen One, the one who conquered death and who is victorious. We distribute a bag with all the food needed for the traditional Easter meal. Carrots, beets, rice, beans and fish. One bag will feed around 5-7 people and we distribute more than 100. During the distribution, people come in groups of 10 while I take the time to read the Bible and pray. I encourage them to persevere and keep hope in Jesus.
After the distribution of food, we invite the children to our house. I read them the Easter story and we take the time to pray together. Then we give them a juice, a snack and a fresh mango from our garden. Nightfall is soon approaching and we must leave because the road holds the most danger.
It’s back in the back of our tap tap that we approach the airport, finally in a quieter area. I take my phone, I call Flore. Everything went well, I’m back. What an emotional day. Two weeks later the war has started again, the schools are closed, I know God had it all planned. He opened a path, a moment and I chose to obey.