We’ve been hearing and watching so much about the tragic circumstances caused by an earthquake in Haiti. As Christians, we continue to pray for the people of Haiti, whom God’s loves so much:
Heavenly Father, we pray that survivors may receive the immediate necessities of water, food, medical aid and shelter. We pray that they may be able to receive the necessary practical and financial aid that people from other countries are bringing into this island nation. We pray that You may hear and answer our prayers for the people of Haiti.
Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.
From our call to mission and evangelism, we also pray that through the good news of Jesus Christ, God would also do a good work in this nation. The gospel has the power to bring spiritual transformation to an entire nation. It is not the institutional church that is to bring change, rather, it is the good news of Christ that brings change into the hearts and lives of individuals and entire peoples. The Roman Catholic Church has been the official religion of Haiti but it has not been an agent of change. Haiti needs to receive the Christ’s gospel in a dynamic and powerful way, such that, it brings a personal-inner transformation to effect how they live and carry out their lives. We can pray that dysfunctional state institutions that have perpetuated poverty in Haiti be ended (see LWF-DWS statement). Spiritual darkness has a way of perpetuating dysfunction in the minds and hearts of people–it’s what we call the sin of a “generational curse”–which may be what televangelist Pat Robertson was trying to get at in his recent comment on CBN`s 700 Club.
The media has been playing a clip of his comment where he claims that historically, the Haitian people had made a pact with the devil in order to banish the French occupiers from Haiti (see Hatian history of Voodoo). From what out media portrays, Robertson may seem to have a foot-in-mouth disease but he is no dummy. He has read history books and understands the culture and history of peoples and nations. As people, especially with the media’s help, we can be quick to judge his comments–especially when we take just a bits and pieces from sound bites. But there may be some truth to what he is saying. I wanted to find research the history of Haiti and found that there is some truth to this. It makes me wonder if former dictator, François “Papa Doc” Duvalier, was involved in voodoo. Below is a brief excerpt from a recent article on Haiti’s dark history from the U.K. newspaper, Telegraph:
However, Haitians are just as likely to show extraordinary resilience and selflessness as they rally together and find consolation in Voodou. Haitians are 80 per cent Catholic and – so they say – 100 per cent Vodouist. Vodou (from the Dahomean vodu, “spirit” or “deity”) is a peaceable New World religion that marries elements of Catholicism with the rites and rituals of ancestral Africa.
For most Haitians, Vodou is the only way to rise above the misery of poverty and the devastation wreaked by hurricanes, mud slides, storms and now this humanitarian catastrophe. When a Haitian is possessed by a loa (spirit) he is taken out of himself and transformed. At night, Port-au-Prince is now said to flicker with candles, as swaying, homeless Haitians offer prayers to the loas in hope of deliverance….
Vodou also reflects the rage and ecstasy that threw off the shackles of slavery. On the night of August 15, 1791, a ceremony was held in the north of Haiti that marked the beginning of the revolt. A rain of burning cane straw, sweet-smelling, drifted over the plantations as the slaves set them ablaze. Toussaint L’Ouverture was said to have taken part in this Vodou-inspired uprising – proof that religion is not always an opium of the people, but a prelude to action. Read on…
South Korea, which was once extremely poor, was also known for its Shamanism, which is a demonically influenced form of spirituality. After the gospel of Jesus Christ was introduced to the South Koreans, through a period of decades, the nation went through a major spiritual revival. This spiritual revival transformed the minds of the people, which led to a complete transformation: politically, socially, culturally, and economically. God had blessed the Korean people with law and gospel, which brought honesty and accountability into government, and also brought economic and social freedoms. These things, along with a host of other factors, has led to its current economic prosperity. God has done this for the western world of Europe, North America and other liberal democracies around the world. I believe God can also do this for many countries currently wrought with poverty—including Haiti.