Note: For centuries, Haiti has been one of the darkest nations in the world, full of voodoo and witchcraft, even at the highest levels of government. But now, look at this!
Jerry Miel is a radio engineer who served as a missionary in Haiti with World Team Mission. He worked with the Christian station, Radio Lumiere (Radio Light). He has gone back to Haiti to help in the aftermath of the earthquake and makes these important observations.
An Incredible Day in the History of Haiti
I think that I will remember this day as one of the most significant in my life, not because of what I did, but for its meaning.
Today was the one-month anniversary of the great Haitian earthquake.
About three days ago, the Haitian President announced that there would be three days of holiday from work for the purpose of fasting and prayer. This is absolutely historic. If you have ever been in Haiti as a visitor or missionary, could you ever have imagined such a pronouncement? Could you image such an announcement from the U.S. President? This morning I saw a young Haitian-American woman, the leader of a work team, crying because the Americans could not understand the incredible importance of this day and wanted to go about business as usual. Remember, it was only about six years ago that a former Haitian president called the nation to come together to rededicate the nation to Satan.
This was not "a minute of silence for the deceased" or something as equally insignificant. Whatever the president might have originally intended, this became a real commitment for the Haitian people. As I sit here this evening, I can hear the preaching coming from a nearby church. Services have been going on all day.
Let me tell you what I saw and felt today.
Peniel and I had planned an inspection trip up to the Artibonite Valley today. Right or wrong, I don't really know, but since it was the only opportunity, we went ahead with the trip. As we left the guest house about 7:30 am, we were met by throngs of well-dressed people headed to various churches. The sounds of Christian music and worship filled the air everywhere. The next observation was that there was NO traffic. Port-au-Prince streets are always clogged and overflowing with bumper-to-bumper traffic. This morning there were only a few vehicles on the roads, a few small buses (tap taps), some UN and military vehicles and a few private cars. We had clear sailing through town. The same was true of foot traffic. Usually the streets are clogged with people walking. Today there were only a few and many of them dressed for church. The only place that there were traffic blocks was in front of several churches where the congregations had overflowed the buildings and the yards and had moved out into the streets as well.
The next observation was that EVERYTHING was closed! We could not find even one business or gas station open. There were no intercity buses running. Whereas the sidewalks are usually overflowing with millions of street venders, we only saw a few here and there. The huge outdoor market near the wharf where thousands work each day and is spread out to cover most of the street was EMPTY.
Where were all the people? They were in churches and makeshift meeting sites. Every church (except a JW church) had services going on, almost always overflowing into the streets. Beside broken-down churches, services were taking place outside. In homeless camps, there were services. Everywhere the nation was gathered to worship and pray. No, I did not see any voodoo, Islamic or Buddhist services. This scene was repeated in every town and hamlet that we passed during the day.
Tonight, Pastor Ignace, who is sharing the room with me, asked this question: "Can people still say that Haiti is a voodoo country?" What has been happening and is continuing to happen in Haiti did not happen because of the earthquake. It has been happening because the Haitian people know how to pray. This is a tremendous outpouring of God's power as the result of prayer. 20 years ago I started praying for the Gospel to change the Haitian culture. I think that I am seeing God do that work.
The only sadness that I feel today is for our nation. While a nation that has long been under Satan's domination is turning to God with total commitment, our nation, founded on Godly values, has rejected God and is rapidly trying to forget that His name even exists. Let us pray for revival.