“The enemy’s purpose on earth is to kill, steal and destroy. And often times it feels like he is succeeding, like we are fighting a losing battle. But then I remember, the war has already been won…”
I see restaveks who do not know what freedom feels like nor the joy of playing all day and falling asleep exhausted. The faint memories of their mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers are all they have to hold on to. Often my conversations involve them trying to remember if their sister really existed or if time has blurred their memories.
The above-ground graves all around are strong reminders of the prevalence of death here. My neighbors have built their house around a 4-foot-high grave and I see it every day as I walk past the precious family that lives there.
These stories belong to the children and adults I know. I have cried, laughed, fought for and loved these people more than I can ever describe with words.
There’s a song by Will Reagan called “Take Back” that frequently helps me digest my indescribable emotions. In the lyrics there’s a line that rings in my mind constantly: “We’re going to take back ALL the enemy has stolen.”
This has become my heart here: reclaiming children’s lives, children’s freedom, children’s hearts.
As the last day of school at Respire Haiti Christian School arrived, I looked around and was filled with joy at what God has taken back from the enemy:
A girl who was once hidden in a Voodoo temple, now singing, smiling and rejoicing that she completed her last day of school.
A boy who was once kidnapped and walked hours to see us, now dancing and singing in front of everyone.
A woman who once had eyes that were filled with darkness and peered at me angrily, now has a beautiful heart and eyes shining with joy.
A baby who was once on the brink of death, now full of life.
I stood watching them and my heart swelled as I remembered how far they had come, how God has transformed their lives.
The enemy’s purpose on earth is to kill, steal and destroy. And often times it feels like he is succeeding, like we are fighting a losing battle. But then I remember, the war has already been won, and that Exodus 14:14 reminds us that He will fight the battle for us.
The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace. (NKJV)
Will Reagan’s song continues, “I Know God has not forgotten all that’s lost and broken.”
God has reclaimed us. He has retrieved us and he has redeemed us. We were lost and He found us. We are all broken yet he still chooses to use us. And the only reason we can take back what the enemy has stolen, whether it be our joy, loving others, our family—the only reason we can reclaim these lost and stolen things is because God has reclaimed us first.
I want to encourage you to take back what the enemy has stolen from you. It does not belong and never has belonged to him.
Image Credit: Respire Haiti