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Mardi Gras is upon us once again and I have shared with you before that they begin right after the first of the year. Each Sunday they dress up in scary masks, carry whips and machetees and where these outfits of strips of white paper that really makes them look like chickens. It is amusing to say the least, but the intent isn’t for amusement but to see if they are able to scare people. I compare it to our Halloween really. It really is marked with evil….it isn’t the beads and candy and such like they do in the states…they do parade in the streets playing drums and blowing horns, but these funny, scary chickens are not what I would say in good fun. As I said it is all marked with evil and it was ever so prevalent yesterday when they were out as this is he begining of Carnaval. They were out walking about cracking their whips and such and was on our street. Mikela, Rosie and Gabe were all out front playing with the neighborhood kids. Last year at this time all the kids were pretty scared of this time…running inside our gate not wanting to walk the streets for fear of these goofy looking chickens. This year however they have become quite the opposite…making fun of them, laughing at them and standing their ground (for the most part:>) Gabe yesterday went up to one of them and began taking the paper of one the guys and telling him to leave them alone. I being cautious called to Gabe to keep his hands to himself and that I loved that he was being protective. He came over to me with the paper in his hand and when I looked at it….I simply didn’t know whether to scream out of anger or cry. This young mans costume was made of strips of God’s Word. He had wripped to shreds God’s love letter to us. Mikela yelled up to me “Miss Beth he used the Bible…are you sad?” I called back down to her, ” Yes Mikela I am, my heart is broken.” She then proceeded to tell this to the young boy. He shrugged her off and went on his way.

As I have thought about this since yesterday I was reminded of how Jesus was stripped, undoubtly to shreds, just as this boy has done to His Word. Those that have seen The Passion of the Christ know how graphic the scene was of Christ being whipped I know that was a mild showing of what our Lord really endured. He faced this ripping and shredding as well as the old rugged cross for you and for me, but he also endured this horrific pain for this young boy and they many men and boys that are walking up and down these streets trying to make us run in fear. I (we) am here to love those who right now don’t know Jesus who need to know Jesus and who need the Light of God’s Word to shine upon them. Whether they know it or not these young men have place upon them a book that is living and breathing. I know that my God is Able to do immesurably more than all I ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within me…RIGHT NOW!!! (ephesians 3:20) I want to see God move in these young boys and men…I want to see Him move in this community…I want to see Him move in the Northwest Zone….and YES I want to see Him move in this country to break the strongholds that shackle them to untruths and generational sins and free them. They may think they are free because of how they gained their freedom from slavery, but the shackles are still there, just in different form.May the Lord open the eyes of their hearts to real freedom…freedom that comes with knowing Jesus Christ and hungering to know Him more. May God’s Word penetrate the hearts of those who wear His Word. Strip them Lord of what binds them and Loose upon them your strong Presence and your Love that can melt the hardest of hearts. Use me Lord as an instrument for your will and your way. Do this Lord or something even better!!! Amen.

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