Now that a little time has passed since the earthquake in Haiti, it’s harder to find news in mainstream vehicles about what’s happening there. But the Internet is full of communications that help us to know what’s going on. Here are excerpts from e-mails that came across my desk in the past few days, plus this link to a video you won’t want to miss.
Our friend Dr. Jerry Rusher is in Dessalines, Haiti, supervising medical teams assisting earthquake victims and other patients in the Free Methodist hospital there. On February 19, he wrote:
The churches were overflowing Sunday. The 2000 seat Parc Chretien Church in Port au Prince had a 6 hour service and was packed with people standing outside. The Dessalines church also was about as full as I’ve seen it. This past Tuesday was Mardi Gras here which normally is a time of marching bands, singing, and dancing. This year all the celebrating was cancelled at order from the president as it is a time of grieving. I am hoping that the praying and repentance that is going on here is lasting and sincere. I am really impressed by the strong faith of Christians here in these hard times. One worker at the hospital, Alphonse, who knows his Bible inside and out shared with me a verse this week which God had been encouraging him with. It is Ephesians 3:20 which talks about how God’s answers to our prayers are much better than what we ask for. They are” greater than we can think or imagine.” I trust that will be true of the many prayers that have been going up for Haiti this past week.
Jerry Miel is a radio engineer who served as a missionary in Haiti with World Team mission. He returned to Haiti to help in the aftermath of the earthquake and makes these observations:
Only about 6 years ago a former Haitian president called the nation to come together to rededicate the nation to Satan.
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 also 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 . . . The huge outdoor market near the wharf where thousands (of street vendors) work each day and 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 . . . 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. . .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.
Market Day in Haiti (Photos Hank Husby 1999)