I am primarily an evangelist and teacher who travels around the world in apostolic ministry as God leads and enables me. In addition to preaching and teaching the Bible, I mentor our key partners to be more strategic and impactful for the Gospel in their countries and cultures, just as they continue to mentor me. I am relationally focused rather than program or project focused in ministry relationships and partnerships.
THE DEVIL’S NIGHT OUT…
“…do not give the devil a foothold…
take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness,
but instead expose them.”
(Ephesians 4:27; 5:11)
Dear Ministry Partners,
After decades of travel and ministry in other countries where the Gospel has not been taken – or has not taken deep root – I am accustomed to the spiritual manifestations of the devil. Whether through voodoo, occultism, witchcraft, demonism, black magic or ritual sacrifice – Satan and his evil spirits are active through possession, oppression and opposition.
As a result of Satan’s cosmic ruler-ship as the “…prince of this world,” as Jesus called him (Jn. 12:31; 14:30), we see Satan through his overt and covert disguises on a global basis. In America and the so-called “Developed Countries” of the West, we are deceived by the disguises of Satan who “…masquerades as an angel of light” (II Cor. 11:14). Since Jesus alone is the “…Light of the world” (Jn. 8:12), Satan’s greatest delight is to deceive people by not appearing as the “angel of darkness” – but rather as an “…angel of light.” Satan is the arch-anti-christ – or Counterfeit-Christ. He is the satanic substitute for the true Christ of the Bible!
So, in the Western World, Satan deceives, deludes and destroys people through things like enlightenment… rationalism… naturalism… secularism… pluralism… egalitarianism… relativism – which have become the sacred foundations of all of our educational systems from Kindergarten through Graduate School.
By contrast, in the so-called “Third World,” we see Satan fully unveiled as the “…prince of darkness” (Eph. 6:12) that he really is. In these countries and cultures a belief in the spirit world is even more real than the belief in the physical world. The entire world around them is filled with spirits, demons and dead ancestors that must be constantly appeased through various sacrifices.
These evil spirits must be kept under control through the intercession of spiritual intermediaries like witch doctors, mediums, channelers and enchanters. These spiritual intermediaries must then be paid to protect you and your property from the myriad of malevolent spirits.
But, in both the “First World” and the “Third-World,” Satan is still reigning supremely as the “…god of this age” (II Cor. 4:4). That’s why John wrote that “…the whole world is under the control of the evil one” (I Jn. 5:19).
All of that brings me to this: it is time for America’s annual ritual of Halloween – when we set aside all spiritual enlightenment and rationality and “give the devil his due!” It is the night for “dancing with the devil.” It is the time when new generations of children are inducted into the “Black Mass” of Satanism. It is a time to eat and drink at the “devil’s table” through the “innocent fun” of playing “Trick-or-Treat.”
Annually, millions of Christians ignore or disobey Paul’s admonition not to …participate with demons.” And while they would never think of participating in a known Black Mass, voodoo ceremony, or worship before a pagan idol – on Halloween they let their children drink from the “…cup of demons” and eat at the “…table of demons.” In the process, they “…arouse the Lord’s jealousy” (I Cor. 10:20-22).
The Bible teaches from Genesis to Revelation that “God is a jealous God” (Ex. 20:5; 34:14; Deut. 4:24; Josh. 24:19; II Cor. 11:2, etc). Because God loves us passionately, He does not want to share us with the devil! No man or woman who loves their spouse wants to share them with someone else! There is an exclusivity in human love that is a manifestation of the exclusive, jealous, singular love of God for His beloved!
So, Halloween is a “blind date with the devil.” It’s an evil “night out” and “dance with the devil” that can sweep you off your spiritual feet! It’s the first step in a dance that can lead to total spiritual deception. He is a smooth operator. From the beginning of time he has mastered the art of spiritual seduction.
As I have done for decades, I once again share my exposition of exposure on Halloween. I know that many well-intentioned parents see this as a biased and bigoted attempt to rob innocent children of a night of “innocent fun.” But I think it is a subtle step in anesthetizing them spiritually to the disguises and deceit of the devil. Both the Bible and history show that the devil’s greatest delight is in blurring the line between good and evil. As Eve found out, Satan is a master at making “evil appear as good” and “good appear as evil.”
Most of all, Halloween is an annual call for Godly creativity on the part of Christian parents to come up with positive alternatives for their children. Negativity only breeds curiosity and confusion. Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, you can “hallow” Halloween – or make it “holy.” Through creative, positive alternatives, you can make it an evening to “…drink the cup of the Lord” and a joyful time to sit “…at the Lord’s table” (I Cor. 10:21).
To that end, I offer you this exposition…
It is fast approaching that day of the year when our children go through their annual Dr. Jekyll – Mr. Hyde metamorphosis from little cherubs to spooks, ghosts, goblins, ghouls, witches and vampires!
They will excitedly attend school Halloween carnivals where they will bob for apples, fish for prizes and prowl through a “haunted house” amidst shrieks and screams of fearful delight. Later they will go from door to door “trick or treating” in their neighborhood, to be greeted by scowling pumpkin jack-o-lanterns, scary dangling skeletons, and flying witches on brooms. Their wish is to be met by generous hosts who will fill their bags with candy, gum, cookies, popcorn and other goodies that will make their next visit to the dentist a real nightmare! Yes, it’s Halloween time again!
It all seems like such harmless fun – but is it? I have had my own private war with Halloween for a number of years now. Frankly, I don’t think I’m really winning, but I will continue the fight! “But why,” you may be thinking, “do you want to deprive those little kids of all that fun and excitement? It’s all just innocent, harmless fun!”
Fun? Perhaps. Innocent? Hardly! I enjoy fun as much as the next guy, as anyone who really knows me will quickly affirm. But I also know that not all fun is “innocent fun.” A lot of people’s fun is at someone else’s expense. For other twisted minds, “fun” has an element of perversion, like putting hallucinogenic drugs in candy or razor blades in apples! So there is FUN and there is fun!
Because of the historical roots of Halloween, I cannot see it as innocent, innocuous fun. It is a basic principle of life that the origin of something determines its nature. The Bible says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father. …”(James 1:17). It also says that Satan masquerades as an “angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14). He is the master counterfeiter! That means that he makes evil look good. . .perversion look pure. . . and a lie look like the truth! He is a Master of his trade and he has had all of history to perfect it!
HALLOWEEN’S HISTORICAL ROOTS
It can be easily proven from history that Halloween predates the birth of Christ by several hundred years and is firmly rooted in paganism. Let’s briefly trace back the three different historical streams that have gradually converged through the centuries to form what we now know as Halloween.
Celtic Paganism: The first stream goes back to a practice of the ancient Celtic civilization. They were a warlike people who inhabited what we know as Britain, Ireland, Wales and Scotland. A thoroughly pagan people who worshipped many gods, the Romans, who were defeated by them in 390 B.C, called them “Gauls”.
Even though various kings ruled these Celts, the real power behind the throne was in the hands of the “Druids.” They were a secret, bloodthirsty priestly society who ruled by terror, sorcery, and witchcraft. Even the various Celtic kings feared their black powers!
The most important religious day for the Druids was the celebration of “Samhain, Lord of the Dead.” The Celtic New Year began on November 1st. The night before, October 31st, was the night to reverence Samhain. It was the time of the falling of leaves and general seasonal decay – so the appropriate time to celebrate the “Lord of the Dead.”
They believed that on that night the Spirit world came into its closest contact with the human world. As such, it was a night when the souls of the departed dead returned to their former homes to be entertained by the living (much like ancestor worship is practiced today by many religions). It was also a time when demonic and evil spirits came out of their shadowy nether world. If proper food, shelter and provision were not provided, these evil spirits would cast spells, wreak havoc on man and beast, and generally torment the living! If a proper “treat” was not awaiting to appease them, then they would respond with an appropriate “trick”—thus our custom of “trick or treating.”
Others, in order to fool and evade the invading spirits, would themselves dress up and masquerade as evil spirits, witches, ghosts, and ghouls. Again we can see the origin of our custom of dressing up as fiendish characters and creatures!
The perverted climax of this dark night was animal and human sacrifice to placate this “Lord of the Dead”, which was carried out by the priestly Druids who would rip the hearts out of their victims and use the blood for religious rites. They would also use the entrails and other body parts to divine the future and forecast the New Year. The remains were then burned in “bone fires,” from which we get the popular “bonfire”.
Is this some fanciful interpretation of history? Even a secular source like Collier’s Encyclopedia accurately records Halloween as a “popular secular observance…derived from the rites of the Druids celebrating the day of Samhain, when the Lord of Death called together the souls of the wicked who had died during the past year”. (Vol. 12, p. 196). Clearly then, much of our current Halloween practices have their roots in this ancient pagan Celtic religion. Even though the Celts were eventually conquered, their pagan practices never were fully rooted out of Western Europe.
When our Puritan ancestors came to America, they were far too Biblically oriented to allow such occultic practices. They knew that God forbade all forms of witchcraft as an abomination! However, in the 18th and 19th centuries, a host of our ancestors of Celtic origin immigrated to America from the British Isles. With them came many of their ancient pagan observances and practices, including Samhain, the Festival of the Dead, or Halloween. This pagan practice took firm root in American soil and has been a widely accepted cultural tradition ever since.
Roman Roots: The Romans, along with many other ancient people, celebrated harvest time in the fall of every year. Their festival was in honor of Pomona, goddess of fruit.
The Roman general Agrippa first built a Pantheon (temple for all of their gods) in 27 B.C. It was rebuilt by the Roman Emperor Hadrain in about A.D. 100 and dedicated primarily to “Cybele” the goddess of nature. Since it was a Pantheon, many other deities were also worshipped there. Thus, the Pantheon became the principal place of worship for the Romans and the place where they went to honor and pray for their dead.
When Rome fell to the invading barbarian horde of Gauls, they, too, overran the Pantheon, along with everything else. Gradually over time, it fell into disrepair. In A.D. 607 the Emperor Phocas recaptured it and then gave it as a gift to Pope Boniface IV. Boniface then reconsecrated and dedicated the Panteon to the Virgin Mary. So from A.D. 609 it was used as a Christian church (Santa Marie Rotunda). It was an easy – but tragic – transition from ‘Cybele’, goddess of nature, to Mary, mother of Jesus! Every May a major celebration was held in the Partheon to the Virgin Mary.
Medieval Christianity: Since the Church was embraced by the Roman Emperor Constantine and made the official State Religion (Edict of Milan in A.D. 313), there has been a constant battle to keep the Church free from the influence of the pagan culture around her. Too often, as history has proven, while the Church had sought to “Christianize” the culture, she has more often been inculturated by her pagan surroundings! Thus, syncretism (the reconciling of differing beliefs in religion) of alien and hostile ideologies has always been the great enemy of the faith! There are few more tragic examples than Halloween!
During the Medieval Period, or Dark Ages, the Church had sought to increase its influence over many pagan practices – sometimes more successfully than others. Many pagan superstitions and practices that the Church had sought to eradicate began to reappear in Europe during this period. Involvement in witchcraft again became widespread.
One of the most important aspects of witchcraft was the number of celebrations held each year called “Witches’ Sabbaths.” The most important of those was known as the “High Sabbath,” or the “Black Sabbath,” which occurred on October 31st. It was generally a night of feasting and revelry. It was that feast that gave us many of the common paraphernalia of our Halloween like witches on broomsticks, black cats, death’s skulls, and pumpkins. So much of our current Halloween folklore is rooted in the High Witches’ Sabbath that was celebrated in Europe during the Dark Ages.
There is one more tributary of the historic stream that feeds Halloween. It is the one from which the name “Halloween” itself comes.
Very early in the life of the Church, there was a movement to honor and reverence the lives of certain church leaders and martyrs of the faith. Gradually, they were put in a special category and called “saints.” The Church father Chrysostom tells us that as early as the 4th century, the Eastern Church celebrated a festival in honor of the saints.
Gradually, there were more saints than there were individual days to honor them! The solution seemed to be to consolidate the remembrance of all of them into one special day called “All Saints Day.”
Remember that I said earlier that every May a celebration was held in the Pantheon in honor of the Virgin Mary? In A.D. 705 Pope Gregory III changed the celebration of All Saints Day to November 1st. In A.D. 834 Pope Gregory IV extended the celebration to the entire Roman Church. This was an apparent attempt to coincide with the ancient Druidic festival of “Samhain.” The Church wanted to accommodate itself to the recently conquered German Saxons and Norsemen of Scandinavia. So it baptized yet another pagan celebration!
Thus, this special Church day of remembrance was called “Allhalowmas.” It was easily shortened into “All Hallow” for the “hallowed ones,” or “saints” that were being remembered. The night before, October 31st, evolved into “All Hallow Evening.” It too gradually was shortened to “All Hallow Eve,” then came the contraction “Hallows E’en,” and finally to its current form of “Halloween”.
So a day that started out as simply a remembrance of the saints progressed to a reverence for the saints and finally ended in a worship of the saints! There was an unholy wedding then of the “saints” and “Samhain” . . . a union of “light” and “darkness”…a co-mingling of the “cup of the Lord” with the “cup of demons”
(I Cor. 10:16-21)!
These three religious and historic streams, then, have converged to form the polluted river of Halloween. Again I must say that the ultimate fountainhead of Halloween is Satan!
Just as Satan has successfully veiled the true focus of Christmas by Santa Claus, reindeer, Christmas trees and presents, and the resurrection of Christ with Easter bunnies and Easter eggs, he has given the true pagan nature of Halloween a benign cultural veneer of respectability!
As I pointed out earlier, Satan is the master of deceit and disguise. His favorite deception is to convince educated people that he really does not exist! What better way for him to perpetrate the illusion that neither his person nor power exist than to make it all “innocent fun!”
Anyone who has spent time on the mission field, as I have, will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the whole realm of evil spirits and the demonic are not something to be played with. To put them in the same category as fairy tales, make-believe and mythology is spiritual suicide. This is the very real and active fallen realm of “principalities, powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual forces in heavenly places” that scripture tells us to stand against in the whole armor of God (Eph. 6:12).
When God gave the Promised Land to the early Israelites, He clearly warned them: “When you enter the land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone. . .who used divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For whoever does these things is detestable to the Lord” (Deut. 18:9-12).
Likewise, we Christians are clearly commanded to “abstain from every appearance of evil” (I Thess. 5:22) – which I believe includes all of the trappings of Halloween.
Whenever the Apostles of Christ met with people involved in fortune telling, witchcraft and the occult, the Holy Spirit firmly, swiftly and decisively dealt with them (Acts 8:9-23). When spiritual revival came to the ancient pagan city of Ephesus through the ministry of Paul, all books and paraphernalia related to the occult were destroyed: “And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of all; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing” (Acts 19:19-20).
The enterprising merchants of Ephesus had capitalized on the economic opportunities of the occult and witchcraft just as our contemporary businessmen have exploited Halloween into a multi-million dollar annual bonanza! Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and Halloween witches are their best friends! History has proven that once something becomes culturally acceptable and economically profitable, it will remain and flourish – regardless of its origin – unless true spiritual revival comes to root it out! What is a concerned Christian parent to do in the face of such strong cultural pressures from friends to observe Halloween? Let’s face it: if you are a parent of small children, you have got a tough problem on your hands every October 31st! You don’t want to unnecessarily make your child an “oddball” and “outcast” with their friends. But you also don’t want to mindlessly give in to every social and cultural pressure exerted over you and them by a non-Christian world just to be popular and accepted.
It has always been easier for Christians to either condemn the enemy” or “baptize the opposition” than to come up with truly Biblical alternatives. Let me therefore try to suggest some possible creative alternatives to this current Halloween paganism so we can perhaps substitute good fun for bad.
1. First, do some study in the Bible with your children on what God says about dabbling in any occultic practices. Look up with them words like “occult”, “witchcraft,” “mediums,” “fortune telling.” It may be a real eye-opener for both you and your children. Here are some places to start: Gen. 40:8; Lev. 19:26-28; 20:6; Deut. 4:19; 7:25-26; 17:2-5; 18:9-14; 1 Sam. 15:23; 2 Kings 17:16-18; Isa. 47:13-15; Micah 3:6-7; Zeph. 1:5; John 3:19; 1 Cor. 10:16-21; Eph. 5:5-11; and 2 Pet. 2:1-3.
2. Next, try substituting a different type of party for the usual Halloween party, perhaps some type of “Fall Festival,” with games, costumes, refreshments and perhaps a good movie. As long as good food and fun are available, kids will be happy!
3. If the children are at the age that they still like to dress up, substitute the traditional Halloween costumes that honor the demonic realm for ones with no negative connotations: clowns, animals, old fashioned clothing, etc. Or you could have an “All Saints Party” with everyone dressing up like saints from either the Bible or Church history. They could even dress up like Bible characters and act out the roles. A good film could be added like “Pilgrims Progress” or one on the Reformation since the first Sunday in November is Reformation Sunday.
4. If you decorate your home, do it with colorful seasonal fall decorations, avoiding the usual Halloween symbols. If you do let your children carve a pumpkin, do so with smiles and happy faces.
5. Try to use the “trick or treating” time as an opportunity for witnessing. Take a humorous or cogent Gospel tract – not a negative, condemning one, and tape it to the candy you give out. You can usually find these types of tracts at your local Christian bookstore. Most will probably not be read, but we are called to faithfully “sow the seeds.” And if you sow enough good seeds, some will fall on “good soil” (Matt. 13:23).
Well, I hope that I have been successful in my task of "unmasking Halloween." I also trust that I have put something Biblical and creative in its place. For educated people – to say nothing of Christians – to continue to celebrate Halloween makes about as much sense as a group of Jewish survivors from the death camps yearly celebrating the birth of Adolph Hitler and the atrocities of the Nazi Holocaust!
I think it is high time we parents awaken and stop Satan’s unchallenged influence in the lives of our children! Halloween is just another one of those opportunities for him to work unhindered in an area that we have too long ignored. I know that when we stand up and speak out against it, we are always in danger of being called narrow-minded religious fanatics or fundamentalists on a witch-hunt! But Christ did not call us to be popular – just faithful!
As Christians, let’s be done with ghosts, witches, vampires and monsters! Let’s leave that to the prince of darkness. And as Christians we must focus on Jesus Christ, the Light of the world, who has “shone into the darkness.” (John 1:5). Let’s heed Paul’s admonition: “Be imitators of God, as beloved children. . .for you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light”(Eph. 5:1,8).
In His love,
PS: I am currently trying to finish writing a book I have been working on for years titled: The Rise and Fall of Satan. I hope to have it finished and published by the end of this year. So be watching for this comprehensive exposure of this master counterfeiter and deceiver.
“…the gifts you sent…are a fragrant offering,
an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.”
Dear Partners for Haiti,
I have just received these pictures of our latest deployment of life-giving and life-saving resources to the South of Haiti. From our previous reports, you know that our primary partner in this on-going relief effort is Pastor Esperandieu Pierre through his Nehemiah Vision Ministry (NVM). Because of our many years of friendship and partnership with him, he immediately became our Haitian “boots on the ground” in our relief efforts. (Please click here to view our previous reports).
Because the Capital City of Port-au-Prince was not badly damaged, most of the relief supplies that were needed could be bought locally – which is also a help to the local economy. But even though this is a help to local merchants, there is still a lot of price-gouging going on! Pastor Pierre and his team were able to put together “Family Relief Packs” of basic food supplies for a family for a week (or more) costing around $50 each. We are so thankful to all of our American partners who have funded one or more of these life-saving packets of rice, beans, cooking oil, fish, dry goods and clothing.
After a quick fact-finding trip to the devastated South, Pastor Esperandieu identified several remote villages that were almost totally destroyed. The first one we have been targeting is the town of Port-a-Piment near Les Cayes. Most of the people had to walk over 3 hours to get to the distribution point. Then they had to carry their “Family Relief Packs” back home on their heads.
When Pastor Esperandieu and his team arrived, hundreds of people had been waiting for hours to receive the relief items.
To maintain order and control of the desperate crowd,
the distribution was held inside the walls of the local
Police Department that was still standing in spite of the
hurricane. Everyone were very thankful for the presence
and peace-keeping of the police and military.
So be blessed by these pictures of the second deployment of “Family Relief Packs” that you have made possible…
PARTNERS IN THE GOSPEL…
Both JLPF and NVM are thankful for the partnership of “Double Harvest Haiti” (DH) who donated a large amount of clothing and dry goods for this second major deployment. As many of you know from previous reports, DH was started over 3 decades ago in Haiti through Aart & Cora VanWingerden.
Each of their 16 children also became successful entrepreneurs in the Greenhouse Industry. And all of them continue to support DH through their American companies. One of the largest is Metrolina in Mooresville, NC, near Charlotte (note the Metrolina T-Shirt being worn by one of Pastor Pierre’s staff in the pictures below.)
Across the years, DH has become one of the most successful agricultural projects in Haiti, with a holistic approach that includes a church, school and hospital. Through the Double Harvest Hospital, they played a major medical role after the killer earthquake in 2010. They also continued building strong new houses for earthquake victims for several years after the earthquake. We thank God for their continued partnership with Pastor Pierre and NVM.
We are also thankful for our years of friendship with Franklin Graham and Samaritan’s Purse (SP). Once again, Haiti has given us the opportunity to partner with SP in the distribution of much-needed tarps to give people temporary shelter from the continued rains and intermittent sunshine. SP flew in their DC8 loaded with tons of relief supplies, including tarps. They graciously gave us an initial 20 rolls for Pastor Pierre to deploy along with the “Family Food Packs.”
Pastor Pierre's Land Rover loaded with tarps provided
by Samaritan's Purse.
We give thanks with Pastor Pierre and with all of these
needy families who received tarps through the generosity
of Samaritan's Purse.
A MUST SEE VIDEO…
Ambassador Lewis Lucke (retired)
ND Alumnus, Friend & Partner
Ambassador Lewis Lucke was called to Haiti to head the Relief efforts for USAID after the deadly earthquake in January 2010 that killed several hundred thousand Haitians. He was a member of the “New Directions” during his high school days in Burlington. After graduating from Carolina, he went on to have a stellar career in the foreign diplomatic service. One of those places he served was in Haiti. Immediately after the 2010 killer quake, he was asked to return to direct all of the relief efforts. During that time, we interfaced on a number of projects.
Just this past week, Ambassador Lucke went back to Haiti with a Texas billionaire who flew in several planeloads of supplies. He made the attached video from the trip, sent to me by Ambassador Lucke.
I have included the brief video that contains some of the best “on the ground” and “in the air” footage available on the devastation from Hurricane Matthew. However, it also has some very harsh words of indictment of Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. What the people say on this video will not be politically correct to some. But most of us who have worked in Haiti for years know the truth of these statements about the dearth of lasting impact the Clinton Foundation has had in Haiti after raising hundreds of millions of dollars after the earthquake. Their friends and donors were the primary beneficiaries of those millions of dollars – not the poor people of Haiti.
Regardless of what you believe or disbelieve about the Clintons and their Foundation, please watch this video for just the footage of the devastation. It will break your heart afresh over the continuing needs in Haiti. It will also show you the timely opportunity you and I have to make a temporal and eternal difference in the lives of these dear people, through our partnership with strategic national Haitian leaders like Pastor Pierre.
Please click on the picture below to be redirected to the video:
Ambassador Lucke writes:
“This is worth a long, hard look. Gary Heavin of Waco, TX brought in Info Wars to document his recent and current experience with hurricane relief in Haiti. The pictures of devastation in SW Haiti are sobering and the claims about the Clinton Foundation's misdeeds--which Haitians firmly believe--are strident and strong.
I went with Gary on his plane to Haiti to do what I could to assist him. His views are strong and worth listening to.
More than anything, Haiti needs attention and help.”
Ambassador (ret) Lewis Lucke
Board Chairman, Fuelie Systems Inc.
Executive Director, Daroke Resources
Thanks for giving Patt and me the opportunity to share this latest report from Pastor Pierre on the on-going relief efforts you are helping make possible. Pastor Pierre and his team are continuing to put together the “Family Relief Packs” to share with as many needy Haitians as possible. So please continue to support these efforts as you can.
We will soon be shifting over from relief to rebuilding. As you saw from the video, the devastation is widespread in Southwest Haiti. The rebuilding will not be quick, easy or cheap. And we are thankful that Pastor Pierre is fully committed to spiritual rebuilding along with the physical rebuilding. He already has his “Jesus Film Teams” ready to do follow-up in these villages that were hardest hit. Obviously, the relief work that he has done and will continue to do has opened hearts to the Gospel in a fresh way.
Thanks for standing with Pastor Pierre through us to meet as many spiritual and physical needs as possible “…in the Name of Christ.”
In His Love & Compassion for Haiti,
JL & Patt
“…through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”
(II Corinthians 9:11)
Pastor Pierre with new clothes just donated by our
friends at Double Harvest Haiti.
Dear Ministry Partners for Haiti,
I have just received these pictures from Pastor Esperandieu Pierre. They are packing TODAY/Wednesday in preparation for their second deployment TOMORROW/Thursday. They have bought most all of the food items locally, thus helping the local economy – a “double blessing” for everyone, and will be leaving at 4:00 AM in the morning for another long 7-hour drive South to the hardest hit area. Do be praying for them, as there have been some attempted hijackings by thieves and thugs on UN trucks. So pray for “divine protection” on Pastor Pierre’s convoy of supplies!
The pictures below represent such a beautiful Biblical model of the Body of Christ in action, through “Haitians helping Haitians” in partnership with Americans! Thanks for helping put the resources in their hands to minister to their own people.
Packing the "Family Relief Packs", each costing $50. At right, dried fish are
included with the distributed food - pray that Jesus will again multiply them!
Food items for the "Family Relief Packs" are packed by NVM staff and local
Dried beans, high in protein, are packed to go with
the rice. At right, soap is packed for washing and cleaning.
The NVM School children help out with the loading of supplies, and another
deployment is ready for delivery. Each of these deployments help around
4,000 Haitians, who have basically lost everything in the hurricane. And as
they receive these "Family Relief Packs" costing $50 each, they give
"...thanksgiving to God" because of your generousity!
We will send more pictures of this next deployment in the days ahead. We have also dispatched our last funding ($15k) to buy metal sheeting and 2 X 4s for roofing in the next phase of rebuilding. So please continue to give as you can.
Finally for now, please forward this email to any of your family, friends, church members, business associates, civic group companions...anyone who might like to help out. As always, you can assure them that we will honor a 100% deployment of every dollar given!
In His Love & Compassion for them,
JL & Patt
PS: We are also seeking to help our Haitian and Bahamian friends in Freeport who were hammered by Matthew, so please keep them in mind for your praying and giving.
“I am on my way…in the service of the saints…
to make a contribution for the poor…”
(Romans 15: 25-26)
Pastor Pierre overseeing his NVM Team
as they pack Hurricane Relief supplies.
Dear Partners for Haiti Hurricane Relief,
All day yesterday (Friday) and into the night I was in personal contact with Pastor Esperandieu Pierre, who is spearheading our Hurricane Matthew Relief efforts in Haiti. Because of your fervent prayers and proactive financial support, we were able to help him buy and gather Relief Supplies to distribute to people in the South who have basically lost everything.
As you know from my previous report, he and his team from Nehemiah Vision Ministry (NVM) put together “Family Relief Packs” that will give people basic life-giving resources for a week (food, oil, clothing, hygiene supplies, bleach, etc). Each pack cost around $50.
Providentially, our good friends at “Double Harvest Haiti” had recently shipped a container of clothing and dry goods to Haiti for distribution to the needy. So they graciously donated this to Pastor Pierre and NVM for their Hurricane Relief Efforts. God’s partnerships, provision and perfect timing are always so amazing to watch in action – literally planned from the “…foundations of the world” (Matt. 25:34; Rev. 13:8). Thanks for being a part of His providential plans for Haiti during this time of great need and opportunity!
After driving all night back from the South, Pastor Pierre gave me this telephone report this morning (Saturday) of this strategic deployment I am summarizing below…
From the sound of his voice on the phone, Pastor Pierre is physically exhausted – but exhilarated in spirit over being able to help several hundred people with life-sustaining supplies through these “Family Relief Packs.”
5 LOAVES & 2 FISH…
Dried fish are packed in the Family Relief Packs.
Right now both Pastor Pierre and I feel like Christ’s disciples when they were facing a multitude of need with only “5 loaves and 2 fish” in their hands (Mark 6:41)! But we serve the God of the impossible who takes the meager resources of a little boy and multiplies it to feed a multitude of over 5,000!
But just like the Lord partnered with the little generous boy who gave what he had, we need you to continue to do the same. We have basically sent all of the funds we have received from partners like you. So please send more as you can. Whether you can give $50 for a Family Relief Pack, or $5, $10, $20 – every gift will be translated into life-giving supplies. – with a 100% designation.
Also, Patt and I urge you to leverage your relationships and friendships by networking this need among your friends, family and fellow church members tomorrow/Sunday.
And remember as you give that every gift is given in the Name of Christ. Pastor Pierre told every person in Creole as they were given a Family Relief Pack: “Receive this in Jesus Name!” That’s the “double blessing” of doing your relief work in the Name of the Lord Jesus!
In His Name for His Glory,
JL & Patt
PS: Most of these pictures were taken in the heat of battle. More and better pictures will follow in the days and weeks ahead.
“A father to the fatherless,
defender of widows is God in His Holy Dwelling.
He sets the lonely in families…”
HIMALI CHILDREN’S HOME
Dear Ministry Partner,
In our last eNewsletter, we were in Delhi, India, at the Angurah Children’s Home. I was in the midst of writing this second report on another of our Children’s Homes in Nepal when Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti. So I put this report on the back burner in order to immediately focus on our on-going Hurricane relief work there. Now that those efforts are taking place on a daily basis, I wanted to send you this report on the Himali Children’s Home in Kathmandu, Nepal. I think you will be blessed and encouraged.
The Himali Children's Home was first established in 2001 by Sister Laxmi Tamang when I was still CEO of NDI. Like the children she has adopted, Laxmi is no stranger to heartache. You see, she was abandoned by her husband a number of years ago. But rather than focus on herself in self-pity, she poured herself into the lives of needy children. And under her servant-leadership, the Himali Home has always been one of our best children’s ministries – for which she has won a number of awards from the Nepali Government, as pictured at right.
To date there have been sixteen students who have graduated from this home, where they have lived since they were small children. Because of the spiritual and educational opportunity the Himali Home gave them, they are all doing well on their own as productive members of society, and are active in their churches.
Due to the high cost of land and building in Kathmandu, the Himali Home has been located in different temporary locations for several years at a time. The picture below is of their last rented building, too small and too costly for us to continue to rent on a monthly basis. By God’s grace, we were able to finally move them into their permanent new home on this past trip.
A BLESSING FROM THE EARTHQUAKE
A number of years ago we bought and renovated a building in Kathmandu as the “Barnabas & Dorcas Vocational Training Center.” It was used for multiple purposes to train people in various self-support skills such as sewing, weaving, dress-making and computers. But it was damaged by the 2 earthquakes last year to the degree that it could not be used any longer without some major renovations. Through the timely, vision and generous gift of a businessman friend, we were able to do those major renovations from the foundation to the roof – pictured below.
Shoring up the foundation...
Renovating the inside...
A fresh, colorful paint job, inside & outside...
We asked Sister Laxmi to pick the colors she liked for the home. She chose purple for the girls and blue for the boys!
Canopy Awning on top of the roof…
The Children’s Home is rather “land-locked”, with little area for the children to play outside, so we added an awning on top. This will allow them to be outside – rain or shine. It will also be a place to hang clothes, eat, play games and develop self-support projects.
It was a special joy and privilege for Patt and me to be in Kathmandu for the dedication of the renovated and renewed Himali Children’s Home. All the honor, flowers and leis that we received go to the Lord and to you for making this new home possible.
The children in their new "study hall." We have ordered five small tables
for them to use as desks.
Since we put carpets down on all the floors for warmth, we bought an
electric vacuum cleaner - a first for them!
As Patt and I always enjoy doing, we spent a day buying pots and planting flowers to help beautify the new Children’s Home. It was a special time working with Laxmi and the children.
One of the special joys of our visits to our various Children’s Homes is to “throw a party” for the kids! Rather than their traditional meal of rice and dal bhat, we like to give them a taste of America through foods like hamburgers, pizza or fried chicken. Since a new KFC had recently opened in Kathmandu, we decided to treat them to some “Southern cookin’ – compliments of the Colonel – followed by ice cream and cake!
Before the evening was over, their stomachs were full, and everyone had a
"sugar rush" from the rich desserts of Black Forest cake and ice cream!
THEN & NOW…
By God’s grace and through the financial faithfulness of our American partners, we have been able to support our Children’s Homes through several cycles: from small children, to high school and college graduates. When the children came to our homes, they were either full orphans, semi-orphans or destitute. One of the greatest joys of our lives has been to watch their transformation across the years physically, emotionally, mentally, socially – and most of all spiritually. Each child is a special “trophy of God’s grace.” Time and space do not permit me to tell each of their unique stories. But here is one story as an example that will thrill your soul...her name is Sashi Tamang…
The transformation of Sashi, from a needy little girl...
...to a confident college student.
Sashi is now getting her degree in Microbiology. She is a member of NESOM
(Nepalese Society for Microbiology), where she recently presented a paper
and was given an award and certificate of achievement. The subject of her
report was: "The Prevalence of Methicilin Resistant Staphlococcus Aureus
Among Healthy Sudents of my College". Pretty impressive!
Sashi & Laxmi, her adopted mother.
Below is Sashi’s brief testimony – which will greatly bless you and give you a new spirit of thanksgiving…
“I was born into a Hindu family in remote West Nepal. When I became school age, I went to a government school that was 1½ hours by foot from my home. I still remember those days, going to school wearing slippers because I didn’t have shoes, with a worn-out dress instead of a proper uniform. I only had a pencil and piece of paper.
Because my father and mother were subsistent farmers who worked in the field most of the time, parental care for me was not so much. When I was 5, my mother ran off with another man. Since my father was mostly engaged in the field, I was left home alone. No one cared whether I ate or went to school or not – I became an abandoned child with no one. Later on, my father remarried and my life became like a hell. My stepmom hated me, tortured me a lot and my father would not do anything in front of her to defend me.
One day, a neighbour recommended me for this home and I was admitted at 6 years of age. In the home, I got everything that one child should receive, from parental care to all the basic needs. The foremost thing is that I came to know about Jesus Christ – which is one of the GREATEST and most PRICELESS gift for me.
The journey that I started at the age of 6 till now is beautiful, memorable and encouraging. It’s always a happy feeling to be with these younger gifted children and serve them for the glory of God. Now, I feel that whatever happens, God uses to happen for the best.”
SPIRITUAL & FINANCIAL ADOPTION…
We have been supporting this wonderful Children’s Home each month from our General Budget. Unlike our other homes, we have no regular monthly sponsor for this Home. So we are praying for a church, Sunday School Class, businessman, or civic group to “adopt” this home monthly. For just $1,000 a month you can help us provide the food, clothing, education and medical care for these precious kids. In doing so you will have the joy of knowing that you are giving a “new direction” in life to these children – as well as a secure eternal destiny through Christ!
The Himali girls and the Himali boys.
PERSONAL REFLECTIONS FROM PATT...
As you look at these happy Himali Home children, it is hard to imagine the trauma that all of these boys and girls have faced in their young lives. Each has a story that would break your heart! And each one is now living in a safe and happy children’s home that will love them, feed and care for them, teach them about Jesus, and give them an education through high school. As with all of them, it was a series of circumstances that allowed them to be admitted to this Home.
Several of the children came from villages that were destroyed by the 2015 earthquake and whose families still live in the tin houses. All of them know at least one person who died in the earthquake — for one boy, it was his dad. Almost all of them come from economically depressed villages and would never have had the opportunity for a consistent education or a life apart from their families’ poverty. But, now they have both — and a chance to dream of a better future. A whole new world of hope has opened up for them.
The father of one of the boys died when the boy was very young, leaving his mom with 8 children. In the Home, he does well in school, loves sports and would eventually like Bible training. Then there’s the girl whose father is disabled and mother does subsistent farming. She has made great progress since being in the Home, is doing well academically and wants to be a doctor.
One of the boys has made amazing strides in his first year at the Himali Home. When his mother committed suicide, and his father ran off with another woman, he was left completely abandoned. An aunt eventually took him in. Now he’s thriving in the Home atmosphere where he is first in his class, loves to study and wants to be an engineer.
Prayer is needed for each one as they mature in spirit and body. Some children still struggle with memories of the earthquake and thus in adjusting to school and their studies. There is also the emotional sadness for several of these children whose mothers or fathers abandoned them because life was too hard, and they couldn’t bear to watch their children go hungry any longer.
Everyone wants to be a part of a family. When that is not possible, a wonderful, loving Christian Home is the next best thing.
By clicking here, you can reread our earlier report of how these children ministered to other needier children after the devastating earthquakes last year. What a blessing it was to see “children helping children!”
I hope this second children’s report has been a refreshing blessing to you. We have several more to follow in the days ahead. But in between we will also be sending updates about our on-going hurricane relief work in Haiti.
Years ago I learned that you have to be multi-focused in ministry and multi-tasking in leadership – just like in parenting. Seldom do you have the luxury of just fighting on one front at a time. Local and global crises happen too quickly! And each one is unique and demands personal attention.
Some ministry opportunities are offensive by nature and others are defensive. Some needs are “crisis oriented” and others are “development oriented.” Some are more spiritual in focus while others are more physical. But in either case, TIMING is critical in every situation!
One historian rightly observed that every leadership failure could be summed up in two words: “Too late!” The leader was fearful… ignored the problem… looked the other way… made excuses… was afraid of the risk… became paralyzed… crippled by indecision… vacillated… procrastinated… postponed… tarried – till it was “TOO LATE!”
As a result of tarrying too long in what the Bible calls the “valley of decision” (Joel 3:14), the mind was never made up… the resolve of spirit never came… the opportunity was not seized… the challenge was not met… the battle was lost… the crisis was over… the need was not met… the lives were not saved!
Years ago the Lord impressed on my heart the name “new directions.” It became the name of the organization I led for some 4 decades. That’s because God was not only calling us to take a “new direction” in ministry by being interdenominational and interracial – but also by combining the “Spiritual Gospel” with the “Social Gospel.” Through the leading of His Holy Spirit we blended orthodoxy with orthopraxy – the “Good News” with “good works.” We were both contemporary and traditional – liberal and conservative. We were both evangelistic and holistic. We were not religious – but radical!
Therefore, the various eNewsletters you will be receiving in the days ahead reflect this multi-faceted approach to ministry. Simultaneously we are doing “crisis ministry in Haiti” while we are doing “development work” through Children’s Homes. In addition, our ND Alumni have received a special report on the recent “Memorial Service” for Herbie Spruill titled: “Celebrating a Life Well-Lived” (please click here to listen).
So Patt and I are NOT trying to fill your inbox with trivia! But we do want to do our best to keep you fully updated on the many aspects of ministry that you are making possible through your prayers and financial support!
In His holistic love & compassion,
JL & Patt