One thing that I had intended to write about while in Haiti were the voodoo ceremonies that were happening literally directly across the street. (Thankfully, the last two or three nights of it sounded much further down the road.) There is really no way to describe it … It sounds like a drum circle with chanting. It is loud and long – when I woke up at 2am – 3am – 5am, they were still at it. It is a dreadful energy and feels like a black cloud is hovering.
We were told that these folks do this about the same time every year. They explained that, usually, you could look across the street and see how many animals they had in the yard to determine the number of nights of sacrifices there would be. I recalled seeing a goat and a rooster, but couldn’t remember enough to be able to predict how many nights it would last. I don’t know enough about it to be able to explain this well, but the sacrifices have something to do with feeding spirits and progressing up the voodoo priest ladder. The first night, we were unaware that it was going to happen or what was happening as it did. At one point, I heard a blood curling scream and asked Gary “Did you hear that?!? Should we go get Yves?” (Yves is the night security guard – he is sweet as pie, but tough as nails.) It was too scary a sound to actually leave the safety of our apartment to go to the front of the main house in order to ask him what was going on! We still do not know what that sound was, but we have prayed it was not a human sacrifice.
I know that voodoo has no power over our God. But … I don’t think that I have ever consciously felt the enemy so fully present in my life. It was as though our home was a flame of light that was being swarmed by darkness. One night, I woke up at 12:44am – feeling suffocated by a negative energy. I laid awake in my bed, eyes wide open, praying as mightily as I could over our household. Everyone else was asleep. I turned on podcasts of sermons that I love and let the Word fill my ears and our room. At last, I was finally able to rest. Our Heavenly Father and His Word is definitely mightier than anything else!
The experience of these ceremonies was a sharp contrast to the peaceful, joyful sounds of praise and worship that we had grown accustomed to hearing across the street. You see, next door to where those voodoo ceremonies took place, there is a precious little church. This sweet place of worship meets at least 3 days a week to sing and praise God. And the chorus of their beautiful songs and the words of their pastor (and often the feedback of their mic) fill the air. Those are the sounds that we love, hold close, and that we miss greatly. We will never forget those nights – we will let them serve as a reminder voodoo is still very prevalent in Haiti, and one of the reasons we feel it is so important to continue to spread the Gospel with the future of Haiti, her children!