CBN recently reported on the incredible rescue of missionaries ministering in Haiti? Some wonder if an angel was involved. Probably not, but at the very least it was divine intervention.
The economic collapse of Venezuela due to its Marxist policies has severely impacted Haiti. For years, the country has benefited from low cost gas from Venezuela, but with its own economic collapse Venezuela stopped those shipments last year resulting in Haiti’s gas price shooting up by over 50%.
Haitians took to the streets protesting the increase and since then there has been a growing unrest as warlords and gangs have set no go zones in the country.
But that hadn’t stopped missionaries from Living Waters Ministries from continuing their work in some of the more dangerous areas of Haiti. Led by Fred Chalker, the ministry was building a community center at a location outside Port-au-Prince and was transporting supplies and computers to the center with two vehicles.
As they drove down the road, they encountered over 100 armed Haitian men, many with guns, who had set up a road block to stop vehicles driving down the road. They noticed burning tires on and beside the road.
As the two vehicles approached, the men started shooting their guns in the air to make the missionary group stop. The lead vehicle was immediately surrounded by the group who began bashing at the window trying to get into the vehicles. According to the missionaries some had white stripes on their face that is often typical of Voodoo worship.
When the vehicles tried to back away, the gunmen open fired disabling them. A man on a motorcycle armed with a gun came alongside the second truck opening fire shattering its window severely wounding one of the missionaries, medical doctor Doug Burbella, sitting on the passenger side.
With the vehicles now stopped, the assailants dragged the missionaries from their vehicles.
Drew Pasler who was driving the second vehicle told CBN he had a gun pointed at his head and was expecting to die, when out of nowhere a man appeared on a motorcycle.
The unidentified man looked at Pasler and said in perfect English “it’s going to be okay.” The man then turned to the crowd and spoke three words in Creole. Pasler said he was shocked because the man wasn’t yelling he just spoke normally and immediately the crowd dramatically changed.
The missionaries were suddenly free to go.
However, Dr Doug Burbella was bleeding profusely and with the two vehicles disabled, the group was forced to carry him to the closest medical center, an hour away. From there he was flown to a Florida hospital for emergency surgery. Surgeons described his survival as miraculous.
Was this an angel? Who knows? If not, he was a man with enough authority to disperse an angry and armed crowd with just a couple of words.
It reminds me a bit of an event recorded in John 8. The pharisees had caught a woman committing adultery and dragged her before Jesus and his disciples asking if she should be stoned.
I think we often don’t have the full picture of what was happening here. You had Jesus and His disciples on one side and an angry group of pharisees on the other, with the poor woman stuck in the middle. It was a confrontation, with an underlying threat of violence (see also John 8:59).
But Jesus dispersed this mob by simply writing a few words on the ground.
I believe in moments like this the Holy Spirit gives words (written or spoken) authority.
Luke tells us that Jesus gave His disciples “power and authority:”
9 And He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. (Luke 9:1 NASV)
And to the disciples’ amazement, they were able to heal the sick and cast out demons through the words they spoke.
Just prior to His ascension, Jesus told His disciples:
You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8 NASV)
The Holy Spirit is the source of our authority and power, that can be displayed through our words (Matthew 7:29).
Jesus had that same authority when He wrote on the ground and I suspect the Holy Spirit anointed that man on a motorcycle who with three words was able to disperse an angry and violent crowd.