Claudin Noralus is the Dean of Student Life at EBS. He is also an EBS alumnus and pastor of a local church. One of the issues that his church has been facing since its naissance is the presence of a particular tree on the property where the church building is located (they lease the land).



Claudin with his wife.

The land owner has refused to allow them to remove the tree because it’s believed to be inhabited by a voodoo spirit (“loa”). Even with the church in its immediate presence, people from the community worship the tree and offer it gifts. It’s believed that the loa that inhabits the tree has the power to harm or heal (depending on what the worshipper wants). Either way, it’s created a sort of “turf war” between the church and voodoo practitioners.

A Haitian takes part in a voodoo ritual

A Haitian takes part in a voodoo ritual

This war has caused much distress for Claudin especially who is shepherding his flock into a new, biblical worldview in which Christ reigns supreme over all principalities and powers o the world. He’s been teaching with great perseverance that the lives of Christian’s are hidden in Christ and not vulnerable to attacks of the Adversary. All of this has been surrounded with prayer. Because of this, the church has been praying against the tree for many months.

Claudin reported during our faculty prayer time this morning that the tree fell down over night. He went to leave his home for work (which is very close to the church) and saw the tree laying on the ground; just like that. No explanation, nothing; it just fell.

This reminds me of when the Philistines placed the (stolen) Ark of the Covenant in the Temple of Dagon. They were under the assumption that they would assimilate the power of the God of the Hebrews by placing His mercy seat in their sanctuary. What they didn’t understand, however, was that he shares his power with none. No idols can stand in the presence of God. All in time will fall and he alone will receive the glory.

The psalmist writes:

Why should the nations say,
“Where is their God?”
Our God is in the heavens;
he does all that he pleases.

Their idols are silver and gold,
the work of human hands.
They have mouths, but do not speak;
eyes, but do not see.
They have ears, but do not hear;
noses, but do not smell.
They have hands, but do not feel;
feet, but do not walk;
and they do not make a sound in their throat.

Those who make them become like them;
so do all who trust in them.

O Israel, trust in the LORD!
He is their help and their shield.
O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD!
He is their help and their shield.
You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD!
He is their help and their shield.

God is good and at work in Haiti.