It has been a somber day after the battles from yesterday. No work is going on, school is closed (again), and most of our staff have stayed home. After I sent out the prayer request (read our previous blog below) we had a large meeting with the mayor, another community leader, our leaders and our workers. This has been two years drawn out and we are pleading with him to come to a solution. We recognize that it is definitely a spiritual battle, because the whole objective of this land is for the future of the children, for the next generation to have a better life. These men fighting us are not the enemy, it is Satan himself who does not like to see people be delivered from their suffering. Much of this is due to the rampant illiteracy, poverty, broken family units and children bearing children. I have been reminded often in these moments, just as Jesus cried out on the cross, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do," that those reacting in such severe ways are doing so out of ignorance and their own feelings of helplessness. They are the very ones God has called us to reach out to, while still standing our ground and fighting the good fight of faith.

Jimmy, the main perpetrator, has already been released from prison, not even 5 hours after his arrest upon the mayors orders. The mayor gave promise to bring a solution to these issues this week, but.. I am doubtful. When we have sought resolution over the past 2 years, it has never been in our grasp. Justice is not found. It seems the wicked minority are given the favor. Yet, I KNOW that God will fight on our behalf and we WILL pray and praise HIM for His mighty deeds. Please keep praying for us. This battle is not through. The mayor plans to call a town meeting and our leaders have given some severe ultimatums to share with the people, to urge them to consider this- is Haiti ARISE a benefit to this community that they want to see continue on for them and their children and children's children? Would they like us to close up and move elsewhere? Or do they want to see their community develop? Development has to be community led. If it is not, it is imposition. Don't misunderstand, we do not feel that God is calling us to close our doors. These are the very people that need the gospel, just as in Jesus' day. Those who were his own rejected him even unto death, yet He still gave His life for them.
Madam Atis, one of our cooks, told me today that she saw one of those who were in the gang still wearing the same clothes he had on when he came to get rice the day before in our rice distributions and another that has his children in our school. They know not what they do. We are called to be ministers of reconciliation, to serve this community. Please pray for us. Pray for this community to change, pray for these men's hearts to change and be softened by the grace and love of God.