By Beth Guckenberger, Co-Executive Director of Back2Back Ministries
I am heading to Haiti this week for Easter and I can’t help but feel the anticipation of a trip to the front lines. It makes my spirit hum. I love serving the Haitian kids and encouraging the staff there. To be able to do it during this holy season feels like a treat. Haiti is a place the enemy has long waved his flag over, declaring victory. But, we know differently. There are believers and a church thriving on that island, orphans pursuing life and those who walk in the victory God gave us 2,000 years ago.
When Todd and I were in Sardis, Turkey last fall, we learned about another frontline battle that excited the church. See the tall, white ruins in this picture? Those were for a temple to Artemis, the fertility god. Imagine what kind of mission trips those folks took! The worship of the fertility god incorporated practices that were cruel, demeaning, wild and empty. We know people often eventually grow tired of counterfeit gods, and it’s the Church’s job to be available so the first person they see is expressing Christ-like love. The brick building to the left is a 4th century evangelical church, parked right up against the chaos. I love this. They weren’t afraid of the darkness. They didn’t run away and isolate themselves. They stepped right up and engaged.
So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting, you’ll still be on your feet.
The key for me as I head into Haiti, or for you this Easter season, as you wage battle for your families and community, is remembering you’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Only Jesus can conquer death. Only Jesus can open grave doors. Only Jesus heals and resurrects. We celebrate that victory every time we love in His name. I am thinking about how to love like Jesus this week, hoping to get as close to the chaos as the believers of Sardis were, but regardless, I am confident of this… in the end, there may be some shouting, but we’ll still be on our feet.
Beth Guckenberger is the mother of a bunch of biological, adopted and foster children. She and her husband, Todd, direct Back2Back Ministries. Beth is the author of several books on the journey of their life abroad, including Reckless Faith (Zondervan).