Brad first went to Haiti months after the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010.  Obviously, this event put the entire world on notice of this small nation.  The months that followed brought even more calamity…floods, an outbreak of cholera, hurricanes…the return of painful memories.  Sometimes you wonder how it’s possible for people to endure so much.  Many in Haiti would tell you that it is by the grace of God that they endure.  They will also tell you that they believe that Haiti will not only survive, but one day it will thrive again under the blessing of our God.

Soon after the quake, the documentary “When The Ground Stopped Shaking” was released.  It was primarily filmed at Lifeline’s campus ion Grand Goave, Haiti.  It gives you a look into some of the lives of people weeks after the January 12, 2010 earthquake.  The film was directed, photographed and edited by Jace Freeman. 

Six years later, Hurricane Matthew brought devastation once again to the nation of Haiti.

A Brief History of Haiti
Christopher Columbus, searching for a route to India, landed on Hispaniola in 1492, with his three famed ships: the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. He landed on the north coast of Haiti, in a town now called Mole Saint Nicholas, and claimed it for the Spanish crown.  French buccaneers began to prey on the floundering Spanish colony, and when the French defeated Spain in Europe at the close of the 17th century, the Treaty of Ryswick named the western third of the island a French colony. While diplomatically, the nation was named a colony of France, the country itself bore its indigenous name “Haiti” which means, Land of Mountains. It is fabled that when King Ferdinand asked Columbus upon his return what Haiti looked like, the sailor crumpled a piece of paper, put it in front of the King, pointed, and said, “Like that.”

The island of Hispaniola was extremely rich, so much so that it became known as the “Pearl of the Antilles.” Just as India was the Crown Jewel of English colonies, Haiti became the pride and primary source of wealth for France. France began to exploit Haiti’s riches, mining its gold, harvesting its sugar cane for refinement and shipping its coffee to Europe and America. The indigenous Indians were enslaved and were treated so harshly that being overworked, coupled with the disease brought by Europeans, completely destroyed the Indians. The plantation owners and merchants began shipping slaves from the Coast of West Africa to the island. So completely were the Indians destroyed that today, unlike most of its Latin American neighbors, Haiti contains no trace of its Indian heritage.

In 1801, Toussaint Louverture led the slaves in a revolt against the French colonists. After a bloody three-year war, Haiti became the first black republic in the world. The slaves declared their independence on January 1, 1804.

Many Haitians still subscribe to a system of beliefs known as Voudou, whose origins came with the original slaves from Africa.  It teaches that the spirits (Lwa) can be consulted for important life-decisions, and that they can be used in one’s favor to help, or against another to harm.

The Church in Haiti exists to bring hope to the people of this beautiful island. That hope is the Truth, the Way, and the Life. That hope is Jesus. We pray as Jesus’ has taught us … that God’s Kingdom would come on earth as it is in heaven.  We walk in faith with Jesus knowing that the power of the Holy Spirit will push out the darkness where evil dominates in our world.