Saturday, August 25, 2012

My Trip to Haiti-- The introduction

This summer I went to Haiti for the first time.  It had been my desire to go for quite some time.  About three years ago I went to the Dominican Republic which is on the same Island as Haiti.  While there we served primarily Haitian Immigrants--the poorest of the poor.  Before leaving on that trip, I began to learn more about the history and culture Haiti.  I didn't know that Haiti was the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.  I also didn't know it was the first Black Republic in the Western Hemisphere.  There's a lot of history there.  I've since learned that Haiti was at one time the most  prosperous colony in the New World.  That was before it was an independent republic.  It was the during the time that France claimed this Island as their colony.  France's prosperity came at the expense of many lives.  First the lives of the natives who originally inhabited the island, and then later the lives of millions of Africans who were brought over as slaves.  These slaves were treated extremely harshly.  In fact, it was the policy of this colony to literally work slaves to death.  Because slaves vastly outnumbered the white Europeans, it was important to keep the slaves too weak, tired and fearful to uprise.  The french also found it cheaper to get all that could out of a slave, then import more slaves, than to take care of their slaves so that they lived longer lives.  The blatant devaluing of human lives is unbelievable!  It's no wonder these slaves decided,"Enough is enough!"  The slaves rebelled against the French, and with the help of England, and yellow fever, the slaves freed themselves of France's oppresive rule and they became a free republic called Haiti.

But Haiti has never really been free.

For hundreds of years this country has been plagued with government corruption, discrimination towards the darker skinned people (the majority of the country) and one natural disaster after another. 

These people continue to survive, though they have to struggle up hill every step of the way.

God has a great plan for the people of Haiti.  A plan not to  harm them, but to give them a hope and a future.

And while in Haiti, I had the awesome opportunity to see the hope that is rising up.

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