This is one of the themes I have thought about a lot in the last month – figuratively, literally, and spiritually. The sun shines most days in Guatemala. There is color all around. It does not appear dark -but you can feel the darkness at times. Actually, most of the time.
I went to market today – an area that is bursting at the seems with people and chaos. People are shouting, kids are running around, everyone is moving. And as I walked through I heard screaming – very high pitched screaming. At first I thought it was a pig being led through the streets, but as I got closer I realized the sounds were coming from the back of a white truck. I tried to read what was written on the sign from a distance, but the screams haunted me and I did not want to get close. Written on the side was “Fantasia” but the sounds coming from inside were anything but a fantasy world. The screams were of fear and being hurt, not of enjoyment.
Ironically this truck was parked outside of the Catholic church. It was also accompanied by other demonstrations of “magic” and other “healings” that you could receive. To me – it was a demonstration of how dark this area is and how great the need continues to be. Sometimes while you live here you do not realize the oppression that falls on this place. You do not realize the heaviness that can entangle the people here. Yet when I leave, I realize it the most. When I set foot in a place that is not surrounded by this oppression. When I am among people who have not be strangled with this fear.
Darkness. While I was gone a boy who was only 12 committed suicide. 12 years old. Still in elementary school. A cry of desperation. A demonstration of the need to be released from this spirit that resides here.
And so we pray. More feverently. More passionately than we have before. That the youth in this area would step into the light.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. – Ephesians 6:12