Pierre Julien is a pastor and the ministry program manager for Samaritan’s Purse in Haiti
This year we commemorated the fourth anniversary of the devastating earthquake that claimed the lives of over 250,000 people in Haiti. It is the appropriate time to express, on behalf of church leaders and the people of Haiti, my heartfelt thankfulness to everyone who has invested in various ways to support Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association ministries and activities in Haiti.
Samaritan’s Purse arrived within 48 hours of the earthquake to provide disaster relief assistance and spiritual support in the Name of Jesus. While this tragedy left many Haitians with unhealed scars in their hearts, it also brought the nation to the reality that a lack of godly leadership and systematic corruption impacts every area of Haitian society.
The nation was unprepared, and the Haitian people were like sheep without a good shepherd to guide and care for them. The country was totally reliant on foreign aid and international intervention to meet its basic needs. It became clear that Haiti would either rise or continue to fall based on the established leadership.
It is easy to overlook the root cause of a problem and focus on the symptoms. Cultural beliefs motivated by detrimental behaviors and spiritual problems of sinful hearts produce corruption, and, ultimately, poverty and hopelessness.
Challenging the Church
During the past two years, the Samaritan’s Purse ministry program has aggressively challenged church leaders through our seminars and workshops to examine:
- Their role as God’s channel of blessings,
- Their mission as salt and light in their communities, and
- Their achievements as ambassadors of Jesus Christ to their nation.
Our ministry and evangelism program impacted nearly 1,750 church leaders last year with training and workshops emphasizing the urgent need for spiritual revival in Haiti as a foundation for social, economic, and political change. Through partnering with the local church in various outreach activities, 3,169 Haitians received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
We recently brought a group of church leaders to our “weekend of reflection” seminars. One pastor from Cite Soleil confessed, “I came because I thought we were going to be talking about some project opportunities, but my heart was profoundly touched this weekend.”
Another church leader attended who had been dishonest with some of the resources entrusted to him in the past. After the first day, he could not sleep that evening. At about midnight, he knocked at the door of the guest speaker to make a heartfelt confession: “Pastor, I could not sleep. My heart is greatly disturbed by your teaching. I have not been living faithfully; would you please pray for me?”
The speaker ministered to this man, who then went to sleep in peace for having repented sincerely of his hidden sins.
Revival of the conscience has begun in Haiti! The good news of God’s love through his son Jesus Christ is indeed foolishness to those who are perishing but remains the unfailing power of God to restore broken lives, and even a nation. The physical reality in Haiti can be discouraging, but Christians must look at Haiti through the eyes of faith—for all things are possible with God!
A Faithful Remnant
In every generation, God always reserved a remnant for His purpose, a faithful few who have not bowed their knees to corruption and rebellion. Truly, God doesn’t need a majority to bring victory. Through the faithfulness of a few, many can be delivered and become conquerors. Gideon assembled 32,000 Israelis to fight against the Midianites, but the Lord only picked 300 among them to bring complete victory for His people (Judges 7).
There is a faithful remnant of God’s people in Haiti today who are determined to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and advance the interests of the kingdom of God. We have been working with these believers to influence local church leaders in addressing the fundamental issues of division among Christians, syncretism, and almost 200 years of cultural beliefs that prevent Christians from serving in positions of leadership in the public sector. We have made remarkable progress!
Our workshops and trainings are helping unite Christian leaders and establish the fact that Christians can have an impact serving in public offices. In the city of Saint Marc, the Chief of Police is a pastor, the Chief Judge is a church leader, the Deputy City Mayor is a church leader, and the Head of the Association of Lawyers is a pastor.
In a televised community evangelism outreach meeting organized by this group of Christian leaders, the Chief Judge (Gabenel François) declared that Saint Marc is currently recognized as the city in Haiti with the lowest rate of corruption and injustice. He challenged the audience to find anyone who has been imprisoned in Saint Marc without proper due process of the law. These leaders proclaimed Saint Marc as a “model city” in the administration of justice, because the key leaders in the justice system are faithful Christians determined to honor God and serve as ambassadors of Jesus Christ in public functions.
Moving Forward One Step at a Time
We are on track and moving forward with God, who is sovereign over time and circumstances. Complete healing and restoration is coming to Haiti, and it will not delay! This is not wishful thinking or vague words but God’s purpose being fulfilled for His glory.
Just as in Saint Marc, the revival will take place one city at a time, one changed person at a time, serving as an instrument of transformation for the glory of God. God is surely raising godly Haitian leaders to restore the integrity of the Haitian people and glorify His name!