What a story of revolt, unrest, turmoil, and danger.
Open sewer ditches.
"If you travel to or reside in Haiti despite this warning we remind you that there remains a persistent danger of violent crime, including armed robbery, homicide, rape, and kidnapping. While the capacity and capabilities of the Haitian National Police have improved since 2006, the presence of UN stabilization force (MINUSTAH) peacekeeping troops and UN-formed police units remain critical to maintaining an adequate level of security throughout the country. The limited capability of local law enforcement to resolve crime further compounds the security threat to U.S. citizens. In particular, there have been cases in which travelers arriving in Port-au-Prince on flights from the United States were attacked and robbed while traveling in cars away from the airport. Several U.S. citizens were shot and killed in such incidents in 2010and 2011. Police authorities believe criminals may be targeting travelers arriving on flights from the United States, following them, and attacking once they are out of the area. Use extra caution in arranging transportation from the airport. Most kidnappings are criminal in nature, and kidnappers make no distinctions of nationality, race, gender, or age. Some kidnap victims have been killed, shot, sexually assaulted, or physically abused."
But then, as if general, everyday Haiti wasn't bad enough for you, there's the Cité Soleil, a slum near Port-au-Prince.
Cité Soleil has been called "The most dangerous place on earth" by the United Nations. The name means "Sun City." What an ironic name for perhaps the darkest place on earth.
The police don't go in there. The UN stay out. The US Embassy personnel in Haiti are forbidden by the United States to enter. It was listed as a significant achievement, a "sign of progress," that security forces were able to penetrate in 2006 and stay for one hour.
So why does everything in me leap forward in eagerness to go there?
Why in the world would I be interested in leaving behind all comforts and amenities? Why would I sacrifice not only my health, but life and limb as well?
I do quite enjoy all manner of comforts, amenities, and health. I'm not too eager to part with life and limb.
It's not that these things don't interest me--it's that they are eclipsed by a greater factor, a factor so great that it drives from my mind any other consideration.
OH to see the glory of God blaze forth from this dark place and convert Cité Soleil into a place worthy of its name. OH for the power of God to surge into this place and turn the forces of darkness on their heads. My heart yearns with longing and my breath comes in quick gasps as I contemplate the possibility of walking through these streets, living in a little scrap shack, and bringing the truth of the gospel to the poor, wretched, and dying in this place. A little smile plays around the corners of my lips as I contemplate little, insignificant me going in where heavily armed Haitian police could only manage to stay for an hour. "They that be with us are more than they that be with them." (2 Ki. 6:16).
I don't know if God will ever call me to Haiti or if I will ever set foot in Cité Soleil. But even from here, I can send a mightier force than "heavily armed Haitian police" and UN peacekeepers, and this force will not be able to be kept out by fierce gun battles. Through prayer, in the authority of Christ Jesus, who defeated Satan at the cross, I can oppose the puppeteers, the spiritual forces of darkness over that city. I can ask God to send the armies of heaven to do battle against the principalities and powers who keep Cité Soleil in darkness.
I don't consider comfort. Lord, spare me from self-preservation! Oh may I count discomfort, sickness, pain, and suffering as irrelevant. May it not even enter my head to think that they would play in to my decision.
Let it be dangerous. Let me be correspondingly sharp, courageous, and swift to enter the fray.
"Difficulties, dangers, disease, death, or divisions don't deter any but chocolate [soldiers] from executing God's will. When someone says there is a lion in the way, the real Christian promptly replies, 'That's hardly any inducement for me; I want a bear or two besides to make it worth my while to go.'" --C.T. Studd, Chocolate Soldiers
Actually, though, when it comes down to it, who is dangerous to whom?
As long as I walk in God's will, I am invincible, an unstoppable freight train, vastly superior in force and number to any of the enemy forces (not because I am anything, but because I am in Christ, the infinite one, the conqueror, the victor over sin and death). Far be it from me to tremble--City Soleil ought to tremble that a Christian warrior penetrates into their midst!