According to the latest news reports, the Haiti earthquake death toll passed 2,200, and 12,268 have been injured. Regular aftershocks are rattling nerves around the clock and nearly 53,000 houses have been destroyed. Yet, amidst the destruction and suffering, stories of God at work are emerging.
Gangs in the region have declared a truce and stepped in to help. Churchgoers gathered for the first time since the earthquake to sing hymns under “beams of sunlight streaming through holes in the roof and walls.” Ricot St. Paulin, Haitian Haggai leader and a senior manager of Compassion International, is also at work sharing the hope of the Gospel as he ministers to the hurting and bereaved.
We recently talked with Ricot, who recently completed the Virtual Haggai Experience (VHLE), about the current situation in Haiti and his ministry there.
Will you give us an overview of all that is happening in Haiti?
Unfortunately, things are going from bad to worse in Haiti. We are coping with repeated crises. The three major crises of this year have been the rising insecurity stemming from cases of kidnapping and assassination, the tragic assassination of the president of Haiti, and now the earthquake.
What is the way forward from the devastation Haiti has faced? What can help the nation at this time?
Being a Haggai leader means working strategically and tirelessly to end Gospel poverty in my context by networking with other passionate and spirit-led leaders across my region. We are working toward the emergence of a new generation to build the new Haiti that we have all been dreaming of for many years. There is a growing and urgent need for more effective Christian leaders in the country. As genuine leaders, we must instill in others new biblically based values to give new hope and a bright future to our impoverished nation.
What are some specific hurdles to removing Gospel poverty in your country?
The lack of Christian leadership and the problem of integrity are two hurdles to ending Gospel poverty in Haiti. Although there is at least one evangelical church in almost every remote area of the country – making the Gospel message accessible to almost everyone – a significant impact has yet to be seen.
In addition, most Christian leaders lack equipping, so the quality of the message is not top-notch, as people tend to come to Christ for a healing or financial breakthrough. Sometimes leaders fail to emphasize the essence of the Gospel as presented in 1 Corinthians 15:1-19.
What impact has the VHLE had on your ministry?
The VHLE was a life-changing and enriching experience. I have had the privilege of being connected with many leaders from around the world and it is so encouraging to see what is happening through their ministry. I take every opportunity to share the Gospel message. Haiti needs God more than ever.
How may we pray for your country?
- Pray for the city and the nation. Our prayer is that Haiti may belong to Christ. In God, greater things are yet to come for this nation. He is the God of the City.
- Pray that effective leadership, good governance, and integrity will be the norm in all aspects of national life. We need leaders with a renewed spirit to move Haiti forward.
- Pray for national unity. We want the Haitian people to come together to forge a better future for the present and future generations.