"Haitians have a story about that sculpture," my colleague remarked as he steered our truck through city traffic, past a hollow, wire-frame globe held up by three gargantuan hands. The statue was a welcome diversion from Port-au-Prince's crumbling cinderblock landscape. "They say two hands represent the people, and the third is the hand of the government helping them hold up the world. The fourth hand is missing because it's shoved in the people's pocket."
As a writer, my job is to show my organization's American Christian donors how their money is turning the third world into a better world. There's no question their generosity has impacted lives. But what struck me during my recent trip to Haiti was how the reality has fallen short of expectations. What I saw was that seemingly little had changed in the two years since the 2010 earthquake.
Internally displaced persons camps still littered empty lots, and the white domes of the National Palace still lay where they fell, ripped down by the power of God. A post-apocalyptic gloom hung over the formerly elegant compound where "Mama Doc," the wife of tyrant "Papa Doc" Duvalier, had allegedly refrigerated a room so she could wear her prized fur coats. No surprise the impoverished masses sleeping on the ground and eating "mud cookies" felt no urge to rebuild such decadence. more >>
Of the many missionary organizations and relief teams who have come and gone into Haiti over the past three decades, one stands out in particular – because its services has made it possible for all other groups to fly into the Caribbean nation. Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) celebrated last week 25 years of work in Haiti, and Mark Williams, a project manager who has served the organization for almost the entire ride, reflected on how Christianity has grown in the hearts and minds of Haitians during this time.
MAF held its ceremony last Tuesday, Feb. 29, at the MAF aircraft hangar at the Port-au-Prince Airport. It was attended by hundreds of missionaries and aviation officials, who had much to be thankful for to the aviation company who has helped provide mission, humanitarian, and government organizations the chance to reach remote locations throughout the world.
MAF has served the missionary community and the people of Haiti since 1986, completing 25 years of accident-free flying. It has reached people in remote and isolated areas of Haiti, and has assisted with church planting and discipleship to medical, educational, community development, and crisis relief programs. more >>
Two years after a devastating earthquake killed an estimated 300,000 people in Haiti, Christianity is fast replacing Voodoo in the lives and practices of the people, a missionary has revealed.
According to the Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook, there is a fusion of beliefs in Haiti – 80 percent of people profess to be Catholic, and another 16 percent are Protestant yet roughly half of the population still practices Voodoo.
However, it is no secret that Christianity has been expanding as a religion in Haiti – and a host of Christian missionaries and charity organizations who flew to the Caribbean nation to help the millions in desperate need have also contributed to a large conversion movement. more >>
If you teach a man to bake, he’ll have bread for life. For husband and wife team Rick and Debbi Sands, this philosophy is part of the ingredients for their new mission to help feed the hungry in Ouanaminthe, Haiti.
The Sandses, who own the Great Harvest Bread Co. in Stow, Ohio, have bread in their blood. But Rick said last year he felt like God was calling them to build a bakery in a third world country. He wrote in a blog post, “I have always had a heart for world hunger and felt called to step up and take a stand.”
Their bakery idea took off when their home church in Hudson, Ohio, held a meeting about a vocational school in Haiti called Institution Univers. The Sandses met with the director and founder of the school, Hugues Bastien, and began discussing where their bakery might fit into the school’s vocational programs. more >>
After nearly two years of serving in earthquake-ravaged Haiti, the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team is completing the mission and chaplains are set to come home, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association reported Wednesday.
More than 120 chaplains spent 22 months in the devastated country, after arriving in Haiti immediately following the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake. Chaplains typically stayed for two-week periods and were rotated in and out regularly, said Keith Stiles, deployment manager of the Rapid Response Team.
“We were in clinics, orphanages and school. We worked with Samaritan’s Purse at the shelters … we ministered to Samaritan’s Purse volunteers in the camps at night,” said Stiles. more >>
Haiti's death toll from last year's earthquake may not be as high as the government reported, a new report suggests.
According to The Associated Press, the total number of people who died after a powerful 7.0-magnitude quake shook the Caribbean country, is not 316,000 but between 46,000 and 85,000.
The new figure comes from a report commissioned by the U.S. government and prepared for the U.S. Agency for International Development. It has not yet been released, as there are still inconsistencies, as reported by AP. more >>