As I’m lying in bed, asleep, I suddenly open my eyes and see, standing before me, a large man with a disfigured face sitting on the ledge of the balcony close to the foot of my bed. Immediately, I shout, “In Jesus’ name,” but no sound comes out. I try again, but nothing. For a third time, I strain every muscle to try and get those three simple, but powerful words out of my mouth, and all that comes out is a weak, barely audible murmur. I look to the disfigured man in panic because I don’t know what else to do. I try to move, to jump out of my bed, so I can run, but I’m stuck. My body is dead weight. I am paralyzed. The man starts to snicker at me. I try again with more might, “In Jesus’ name!” I feel myself trying to scream it, but my tongue feels twisted and my jaw is locked. The man laughs in amusement, “I can’t hear you!” My heart is racing, I don’t know what else to do. Suddenly, I’m awake. But, I still can’t seem to move. With one last effort, I give it all I can, “IN JESUS’ NAME!!” Powerful in my mind, but still only comes out a faint mumble. The man rolls his eyes at me, now standing on the ledge, says with disappointment, “fine, I guess I heard it that time.” He disappears into the dark of the night. One last time, I yell, “In Jesus’ name,” it finally comes out perfectly clear. The sound of my audible voice surprises me, I realize I am no longer a prisoner to the paralysis, so I sit up. What happened? It’s all so confusing. It happened so quick, but it had seemed to last forever. Trying to separate dream from reality, I replayed the situation in my head, but there was no separation. That disfigured man was there in my dream and after I woke up. I was locked in place, unable to say a thing, within the dream and for minutes after I awoke.
This was the first of many “night attacks” I have had since I moved to Haiti in September 2016. All of them consisting of me experiencing paralysis and the lack of being able to plea the name of my Savior against the attacker. After the first couple of nights dealing with this, I wanted to count them off as just bad dreams, but the reality of what happens to me during those nights is far more than just a dream. It is a sick, twisted mix between dream and reality that comes from the darkness that resides here in Haiti; it is spiritual warfare.
I am fully aware that overplayed tactics of the enemy are being fought in every country, by every believer. There are tragedies far worse than my “night attacks” going on throughout the world, from division between our brothers to the loss of the innocent. Spiritual warfare is real and I know it can be exhausting. The Prince of Darkness won’t go down quietly, but my encouragement to you is to press on. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 5:8-11.
As a missionary in Haiti, a country dedicated to the voodoo beliefs, this battle for me is on a whole different level than anything I have ever personally experienced before. In fact, out of the approximate 10-12 nights I have experienced these “attacks,” I have yet to experience one during my visits back in the states. It’s difficult here and it’s a constant battle between light and dark. I share this with you, not from a seed of fear or worry because “the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.” (2 Thessalonians 3:3) I know that God has given me authority over the enemy and that the wicked one cannot touch me. “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you,” Luke 10:19.
I share my warfare battle with you because prayer is needed. Always. Recently, I have seen a lot of heart-wrenching talk that prayer is not the answer for the change desired, but they just don’t understand the power of prayer, so please never stop praying. Never stop praying for the tragedies of our home country, for the personal battles you or your loved ones are facing, and for the many fellow believers that were sent out throughout the other nations. As one of the many missionaries here in Haiti, I am reaching out because we need your prayers. Haiti is a beautiful country, with many beautiful people. We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t believe that, but I want to shed the light of the truth on this darkness that has claimed a hold on this country. The work of the enemy is evident here and we can’t battle it on our own. Please pray for us, our ministries, this land, and the natives.
As I humbly ask for your thoughts and prayers, please know that we are standing alongside you in prayer for the many battles that are taking place in your lives, in our home country, and the fellow missionaries around the world. As brothers and sisters in Christ, we can come together in prayer and worship, to fight against every single attack the enemy throws our way because our God is all powerful and He is victorious.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” –Ephesians 6:12-13