I was in Haiti 10 years ago for a medical missions trip. We flew through into the city of Port-o- Prince and then headed up to two different smaller villages to help with medical care. My memories of the city are still vivid. It’s bustling marketplace, the many buildings stacked on top of one another, the thousands of people cramming the streets…It’s hard to imagine the devastation now. It’s taken me several days to process and even put it into words.
I have heard a few religious leaders such as Pat Robertson try to make sense of this devastation by blaming the historic pact that a few Haitian people made with Satan, spilling pig’s blood on the land and dedicating it to Satan in order to free themselves from the slavery of the French. I had heard this story when I was in Haiti years ago. Apparently, the French greatly outnumbered the Haitians and yet, the Haitians were able to rise up and gain their freedom. They say that ever since, the land has not been able to grow anything and the people suffer in immense poverty. I know this much to be true. Having been on the other side of the island of Hispaniola in the Dominican Republic, it’s amazing to see the difference. The Dominican is lush and green, while Haiti is dry and dessert-like.
I don’t know why God allowed this devastation to happen to an already struggling place. I know God is not one of vengeance or retribution. I do know that I have physically experienced more spiritual warfare in Haiti than anywhere else. Other Americans have noted the same experience. At times, in certain places, the oppression was literally heavy. BUT, the joy, faith, and resilience of the Haitian people was remarkable. Some of the most beautiful believers live and serve this country with such commitment and joy. Their understanding of God’s faithfulness is well beyond my own.
I do know that God IS WITH the people of Haiti. In the hospitals, in the rubble, in the churches, in the streets. Mourning with them. I wish I could be there as well. What I can do is try to intercede in prayer during this time, trusting that God knows better than I do.
And I hope that this situation will help our country put our recession and struggles into perspective.