This may appear to be an ordinary, simple hut in a forgotten corner of Haiti.
But I tell you that cosmic clashes of light and darkness have happened here.
This is the home of Manis’ grandparents. Manis’ grandfather–we’ll call him Papa D–was a leading witch doctor on the Plateau in times past. Although he at one time claimed to have accepted Jesus as his savior, it soon became apparent that no real change of allegiance had occurred.
Things were different for his wife, Grann. She also claimed that she had given her life to Jesus. And she meant it. She faithfully attended church, but the real evidence came when she became very ill.
Everyone expected that her time had come. But even though her whole life she had been taught to fear death and to seek solutions from the spirits, Grann refused to let any of her relatives carry out voodoo practices for her healing. “If I die, I want to die in God’s arms,” she said. But she didn’t die. She became well, and she used it as a testimony of God’s faithfulness in her life.
Not long after, Papa D also became ill. Unfortunately, his story did not end well. He wasted away day after day, afraid to die, so appealing to the spirits…yet, afraid of the spirits. “You do what you want,” Grann would say to him as he lay there, “I am going to die in Jesus’ arms.” After long, drawn-out misery, some of his children held a ceremony to appease the evil spirits so that they would just let Papa D die. He did. It was ugly. It was dark. It was sad.
Now Grann is sick again….possibly for the last time. But the scene is so different. She is still determined to die in Jesus’ arms.
For two Sundays, the entire church has walked over to Grann’s hut to finish the service. She has been slipping a little mentally, and it has been discouraging for her to be forced to lie around all day. But when the church started to sing her favorite song, a huge smile lit up her face. She lifted up her hands and did a little dance right where she lay. The song says, “I am a butterfly, I will fly up to the sky.” The lyrics may seem a little strange to Western eyes, but they essentially mean, “I am going to heaven.”
“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal.” ~C.S. Lewis