Jim Glynn is a pastor and president of Heart of God Ministries. He has spent over 27 years working in Haiti and has a tremendous heart for this country.
I got home late Thursday night. Now it’s Tuesday and the time has flown by. Some of you have written and asked, “Are you home? Are you OK?” You just got spoiled after hearing from me every day while I was in Haiti! I’ve come home to a full plate. Letting my wife and kids know they still have first place in my life, then talking to local newspapers and TV stations, some of whom want interviews. At the same time, there has been an outpouring of e-mail and calls from many people we haven’t been in touch with for a long time. A sense of community, reclaiming old friendships, in some cases reconciliation, are sprouting out the seriousness of the earthquake.
I don’t remember anything like this happening when Katrina hit. We were never even asked if we were establishing a relief fund after Katrina. Even after 9/11, certainly there was an outpouring of love and unity that covered our nation for a short while, but it didn’t last. But now, people are sending aid in amounts that can only be called miraculous! We are receiving significantly more checks for over $100 than under, many from people we do not know, all for “Haiti Relief.” After spending twenty-seven years ministering in a place I always called the most despised nation in the world, there is suddenly a deep love and empathy that is pouring out of people’s hearts...and wallets.
1) WE WILL BE RECEIVING CONTRIBUTIONS for the physical and spiritual reconstruction of Haiti for a long time. Please don’t let it die in your hearts. Tell your friends, neighbors, church members, and co-workers. Many of them have hearts that are open to contribute to a trustworthy organization. They can write a check to Heart of God Ministries and write “Haiti Relief” in the memo or they can go to our website and donate through PayPal by clicking on the “Donate” button.
2) A LOCAL TV STATION came to our house to interview me. They put together a marvelous story which presented the spiritual message I shared well. You can see it, and download the written version of it, at http://www.wrex.com. Look for the story, “Freeport Pastor brings spiritual relief to Haitians” under the heading Local/Regional News.
3) ALL MY BLOGS that I sent to you day by day are collected at http://heartofgodhaiti2010.ning.com. They are also appearing on the home page of our website.
4) A 100-PHOTO SLIDESHOW accompanied by a song in Haitian Creole, if not there yet, will soon appear at the top of our website homepage. If it’s not there, you can also see it on my facebook page, and on our youtube site (both addresses listed below).
5) IF YOU WANT TO SEE ALL OF MY PHOTOS, with captions and descriptions of every photo, click below on our flickr site and you can get the best view with explanations.
I must say publicly that the team of men from CBN that I accompanied in Haiti were of the highest character and deepest spirituality. I believe I was a blessing to them, but let it be known that they truly represented the Heart of God in every way to me. We were of a wide range of ages, personalities, and talents, and yet we became a true Christian community during the days and nights we spent together. Sometimes the godly heart of a Christian organization does not filter down from the top. But I found that not to be true with these guys. So I lift up the MINISTRY (it’s not just news and feature stories) of George Thomas, Dan Reany, Jerome Young, Jonathan Goff, and Danny McCusker, along with many others who were on the scene with CBN or Operation Blessing but with whom I did not get to spend much time. We quickly established relationships of mutual respect and love...with a lot of jokes and laughs to ease the horrors we were seeing each day.
I hadn’t written about something rather humorous. Those who know me well, know that I always try to dress appropriately, and that it’s something important to me. So no one told me that TV producers and cameraman all dress what I would call DRAB. Solid gray shirt, solid dark blue shirt, white shirt with light blue mini-stripe. Well, seeing that I had six hours to prepare for this trip, it seems I came with a lot of yellow polo shirts with wide contrasting stripes! It became a joke as George would say, “How did that white clown with the yellow shirt get in front of the camera again?” As we would be interviewing someone, with me translating, the idea was that George could be seen but I was supposed to stay completely out of sight. But some of the people touched my heart so deeply that I would start leaning forward, closer and closer to the person, wanting to reach out and take their hand, suddenly oblivious and doing what came naturally to me. Then I’d feel this jerk as George would reach behind me and yank me back. I’d wait until the interview was over. Then, while the crew was taking “B-roll” (various shots of the area to supplement the interview), I would talk to and pray with the person, share inspiration and courage from the Lord, until I’d hear, “Where is Jim; is he doing pastor stuff again?” In the midst of all this, I had the sense of the deep respect and love of the guys on the team.
I have always loved to express myself in writing. From time to time people have asked me why I don’t write a book. Well, you don’t just write a book and then try to peddle it to publishers! And the people who “self-publish” their works most often end up in a big financial hole with boxes of unsold books decorating their garages. But now, in the last couple weeks as people have been reading my blogs, more than ever before they are writing to me, “Please use these blogs as the basis of a book that will share your heart and ministry over the last twenty-seven years in Haiti.” Would you please pray that the Lord, if that is His desire as a means of glorifying Himself, would open a door for me to accomplish such a thing? Perhaps it won’t be completed until it contains the story, yet to come, of the revival of Haiti and the miraculous light that will pour forth from her to the world! It appears that the Lord may grant my most earnest prayer when that day comes, that I will see it with my own eyes and be there to weep with joy before His throne.
So, what are my plans? To return to Haiti, of course. When? I’m guessing soon, in the relative sense of that word. I’m going to pour my life into the revival of that nation with a greater encouragement than I have ever known, being poured into me by the Lord Himself. When I stood up on that bus, turned around, and spoke with great boldness to the people and sang to them and prayed over them, when I spoke to the people in the recovery room of the hospital ship, when I bent over people one by one who had lost limbs, family, and house, and spoke to them and prayed with them, I knew that a new boldness had entered my heart to say all that the Lord is telling me to say.
With money that comes into our relief fund, we will designate a large portion of it to aid individuals who are joined with us in the work of revival, people who are proven warriors of the Lord, who have lost their homes and possessions. Then with the remainder we will be able to draw pastors and leaders together, feed them, rent sound and generators where necessary, and draw them all the way onto the road that leads to revival...repentance, humility, unity...a deeper worship and prayer experience...and a hunger to be ONE Church with many expressions.
Our Brazilian friend, Pastor Ivens, was in Haiti at the same time I was there, but we could not connect with one another. So now we are writing furiously back and forth (I have to run every incoming and outgoing message through Portuguese-English translation software). We are believing that the Lord will give us favor to be able to invite pastors and Christians to fill the Port-au-Prince soccer stadium, which amazingly was not destroyed by the earthquake. God has given me a vision of simultaneously having the stadium overflowing with people, while in every city and town around the country, people gather in the central plaza or intersection of paths to repent of sin, and dedicate themselves and their town to Jesus.
Our dear friend Kiki wrote to me and said, “I did listen to you speak on Radio Lumiere last Sunday here in Port-au-Prince. Like you said when the quake hit, no one called ‘Satan, Satan save me.’ Most people cried out to Jesus. I heard there was a witchdoctor in Leogane that was doing a vodoo ceremony, and when the quake hit, he ran out and cried, ‘Jesus, Jesus, please save me, I'm going to stop being a ougan (witch doctor), now I will follow you.’”
I heard countless stories just like this from people in Haiti. Yet we know that there is already a counter-movement to revival being spread by the Voodoo High Priest in Haiti and some of his closest followers. They are saying to media and the public that the evangelical Christians are hoarding the food and other aid and allowing only Christians to participate in the distributions. (Of course a large percentage of the aid going into Haiti does come from Christian organizations). Of course this is totally untrue, because the Christians believe that it’s in giving that we share the love of Christ. But I suppose some US media will pick that up. How I would love to set them straight! So please pray that at this critical hour, the agents of Satan will be silenced, and the glory of God will rise over the nation.
Some of you may remember a young man named Rigaud Dessources, whom we have come to know over the past few months. He’s the singer who won a contest in Hollywood, but then returned to Haiti to use his voice in service to the Lord. I have been discipling him, and was so happy to find him alive, although he, his brother, and two sisters were all lying under the rubble of their house, barely able to breathe, until the brother was able to free himself, then Rigaud, then the two of them dug out their sisters. Here is what Rigaud just sent to me today in an e-mail message:
“How was your trip home? How is Mama Margie? Please thank her that she always thinks of me, and that I love her just as I love you. Thank you for the way you have supported me, especially with your many spiritual counsels. I am finished now with my discouragement, because when I found you last week, you gave me a great force in the way you spoke with me. I bless the Lord, for I know He wants to use me now. With your help, I was able to buy some food and some t-shirts because all of my clothes were lost. Your son Rigaud.”
As always, even in the middle of much greater need than we have ever known—for the purposes to which God calls us, and to help those in Haiti who now have nothing at all—still our greatest need is always PRAYER. Please turn to the Lord and ask Him to direct clearly, to empower, to equip, to provide, to purify our hearts, to make us as humble as we challenge others to be, and to produce fruit for the revival of Haiti that will be rich, abundant, and lasting.
James R. Glynn, Pastor/President
Heart of God Ministries
1603 Hickory Hill
Freeport, IL 61032