Summer is still here (as always in Haiti!) and life marches on. Have the last few months flown by as quickly for you as they have for me? At one point, Many Hands had seven short-term mission teams in seven weeks. They came giving their time and resources to the Haitian people and this ministry. Their work, support, and encouragement are appreciated greatly by myself and my teammates with me.
Many of you have heard of the recent political unrest in Haiti, the worst of which occurred on July 7th and 8th. Let me begin by saying that my co-workers and I remained safe through it all – Jesus is good. My region was largely untouched by the protests which broke out mainly in the port cities. There are many moving parts to what ultimately sparked these manifestations; the main reason being an overnight jump in fuel prices of 38%-48%. For the average man, this was too much. To the many who felt they had no voice to express their concerns, these blockades and protests became their microphone. On July 14th, the Haitian Prime Minister followed by eighteen Cabinet members resigned from their posts. Soon after, the manifestations stopped and a lull stretched over the nation.
Now the country and the outside world waits to see what will unfold next.
This is Haiti.
Around a month ago, two friends and I were visiting a house-church in a town snuggled in the mountains nearly forty-five grueling minutes away from my home. Before we started the return journey home, we asked where we could buy cold bags of water. The pastor of the church led us to a gated house on top of a hill. We were graciously received by the owners, a middle-aged couple, who invited us to sit in the shade of their tiled patio as drinks were fetched. The head of the house spoke English and was pleasantly surprised to find that we spoke a fair amount of Creole. Little did I know the next conversational fifteen minutes would bruise my heart.
He was a well-educated man having spent his college years in the States. Judging by his home and the modern commodities therein, he did well to provide for his family. Having inquired of the ministry we worked for, he congratulated us on a job well-done serving the Haitian people. This gentleman stated that it was a Christian’s duty to serve those less fortunate. As such, it was good for the North American Christians to come serve in Haiti. My mind was sent reeling when he proceeded to say this was why Haiti was the way that it was. If Haiti was not poor and oppressed, there would be nowhere for the North Americans to do mission work. I thought I surely had misunderstood until he repeated himself again in English.
She is Haiti.
We finished our drinks and thanked the couple for their warm hospitality. As we drove back to campus, I considered what the man had said. How could someone claim his own people were destined for wretched poverty so foreigners could fulfill some “sacred duty to serve”? Did he truly believe that was Haiti’s purpose of existence? He himself was Haitian! Had he so little hope for his country’s future?
My spirit grieved as I processed that conversation. But here are the truths I have found concerning the country of Haiti, its purpose, and its future:
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them falls to the ground outside of your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-31
“Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not yet been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established and I will accomplish all my good pleasure.’” Isaiah 46:10
“If My people who are called by My name would humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Corinthians 7:14
I know that God has not turned His back on Haiti. I know that He desires healing and freedom for this nation. For this reason, I walk in obedience to the call to serve in Pignon, Haiti. Haiti carries the weight of centuries of spiritual and physical oppression. Please pray for healing and revival in this land. Pray for His justice and truth to come forth. Above all, let Him be glorified.
They are Haiti.
This couple is Haiti.
He is Haiti.
These are the faces of Haiti. Remember to pray for those you see and those you don’t. #prayforHaiti