This is a question that may have crossed you’re mind- why do we choose to focus our attention on Haiti? There are so many countries and people groups around the world that are experiencing extreme hardship and poverty. Even in the United States, hardship abounds.
Beyond being the nation of our birth or a place where God revolutionized our concept of ministry, Haiti’s culture and people uniquely call us and we can not turn a deaf ear. The people are fascinating! Their resiliency and fortitude is inspiring. These hard-working people have a joy that exudes despite the difficult situations they find themselves in. After experiencing Haiti and forming relationships with many wonderful people, we could not sit by and do nothing. Will we always work solely in Haiti? Only God knows that. But we know that if we are able and willing, we want to be used by God wherever He is at work. Haiti isn’t the only ministry field out there- and not everyone is called to devote themselves to Haiti. But, we are called to devote ourselves to God and faithfully follow His direction. And that’s what we are doing.
Quick Facts about Haiti:
Language: French and Creole
Religion: 80% Roman Catholic, 16% Protestant, 1% none, 3% other (roughly 1/2 of population practice voodoo)
Population: 9, 719,932 (2011 est)
Infant Mortality: 52.02 deaths/1,000 births
Life Expectancy: 62.17 years
Physician density: 0.25 physicians/1,000 population (1998)
HIV/AIDS: 1.9% (2009 est)
Major Infectious Diseases: High Risk- Hepatitis A, Typhoid Fever, Dengue Fever, Malaria as well as recent Cholera outbreak
Literacy: 52.9% over 15 can read and write
Unemployment Rate: 40.6% (2010 est)
Population below Poverty Line: 80%, 54% living in abject poverty. Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere