Three years after one of the most devastating earthquakes in recorded history struck Haiti, killing more than 300,000 people, survivors are still facing critical problems and struggling to rebuild their lives – but are turning to God in even bigger numbers.
"Religion is at the heart of Haitian society. The level of suffering has been so high that clearly people feel dis-empowered to cope with the situation and the earthquake has led to an increase reference to religion and to churches," Haiti Program Director for Oxfam Yolette Etienne told The Christian Post in an email on Friday.
The catastrophic 7.0 magnitude earthquake that decimated the Caribbean nation struck west of the capital, Port-au-Prince, on Jan. 12, 2010. Three years later, more than $12 billion has been collected through international charities and fundraisers to help Haitians recover from the tragedy, but a lot of work still remains to be done. Nearly 358,000 people are still living in over 500 camps scattered around the capital and rural areas. The people in these camps often lack access to basic services, such as health care, sanitation and education, and they are suffering from outbreaks of cholera and other diseases – although a flood of missionary groups has been working hard in assisting them to rebuild their homes and gain better access to food and water. more >>
"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 >>
A megachurch in Phoenix, Ariz., kicked off a clean water campaign today by having its college students walk for 12 miles across the city to raise money to build water wells in developing countries.
Palmcroft Church is behind a campaign to raise thousands of dollars to bring clean water to those in Haiti and Ethiopia in order to fight water-borne diseases. The World Health Organization estimates that unsafe water and poor sanitation kill more people around the world than all forms of violence, including war.
Jeff Wolfe, a pastor at Palmcroft, told The Christian Post that the four-hour walk symbolizes the four hours – often both ways – that women and children have to walk to find clean water in developing countries. 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 >>
Heartline Ministries, a U.S.-based ministry working to be the “hands and feet of Christ” in Haiti, has been awarded a first-place $50,000 grant through an online and social media-driven contest.
The SoulCare Project and The Resonate Group launched the Web-based initiative called “Giving of Life” six months ago. Ministries with a 501c3 status could not only apply for financial grants, but also have their ministry made known to a whole new audience via social media.
The top 50 finalists were selected in early November by the votes they amassed from their entry displayed on the Giving of Life website. Viewers at GivingofLife.com could read about the more than 200 ministries, vote on their favorites, and tell others about their vote on Facebook and Twitter. more >>