I am in Haiti with Pastor James MacDonald and Churches Helping Churches on the one year anniversary of the quake. We are hosting a church service in front of what remains of the Capitol for at least 50,000 people according to radio reports. The city remains in ruins and hundreds of thousands of people remain homeless. Most Americans cannot fathom the degree of poverty and complete lack of infrastructure and resources. On top of that, the average person has only a 3rd grade education.
Over a million people in and around Port Au Prince are living in tents, many of them simply made out of old tarps. Haiti literally needs everything and a government that can plan long term as this is not a short fix. The talk on the street among the people is a mounting sense of frustration with the lack of government, but it is not yet turning angry or violent. Amidst of this, the sweetness of the people is amazing. With next to no functioning government military or police force there is peace and kindness among the vast majority of people despite the fact there is garbage everywhere, piles of building rubble remain, virtually nothing is getting rebuilt, and they are bathing with buckets of water in tent cities.
The spiritual response in Haiti has been incredible. The pastors are reporting that more people are becoming Christians, attending church, praying, etc than ever before. Because people are so displaced getting accurate data is impossible but many credible leaders say Haiti is experiencing a revival. Many church buildings were destroyed so congregations are meeting outside and organizations like ours are building new structures to meet in. The streets are filled with people carrying Bibles, singing songs to Jesus, and in the tent cities covering the parks a night impoverished homeless people gather to spend the night singing worship songs filling the air with a sweetness and joy that one would not expect.