The nation of Haiti occupies one-third of the Island of Hispaniola, which it shares with the Dominican Republic to the east. Haiti is located between Jamaica and Puerto Rico, and is only a stone throw distance off the coast of Florida. Columbus discovered the Island in 1492, and Spain ceded it to the French in 1697. Still with me? Hang on, almost there.
The French kicked things into high gear, and it quickly became the wealthiest of all the Caribbean nations. The French enslaved the West African peoples with unbridled fervor to work their sugar fields and in clear cutting the forests. Their greed and brutality proved to be their undoing. Ok, here is where it gets creepy.
In 1791, Toussaint Louverture and the other leaders of the revolt performed a voodoo ritual in which they pledged their children to the devil for 200 years. That curse began in 1804 after the half million strong army of escaped slaves miraculously defeated France and won their independence.
We in the land of plenty cannot fathom the poverty of the Haitian people. 95% of their forests have been cut down, washing away their precious topsoil. Their 8 million people have a life expectancy of only 44 years. Only 30 % of the people have a job, of which the average daily income is $2 per day. Haiti’s literacy rate is only 35%, and less than 1% has an education beyond secondary school.
As you can see from these numbers, Haiti languishes in utter-darkness with little hope of change. This is where we stand up, renounce the devil, and claim the Lord’s favor over an entire nation!
“Father God, in the name of Jesus we proclaim Isaiah 60:1 over the land of Haiti: ‘Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.’ Amen!”
It seems fitting that the Lord would use a former slave and son of a voodoo priest to help lead the people to true freedom. Come back Friday to hear about the exciting ministry of Haiti Arise.