Thursday, March 20, 2008

Short Lesson on Haiti

Since I am going to be blogging on Haiti, I thought I would give you all a short lesson on Haiti.

Haiti is located on the island of Hispaniola. It inhabits 1/3 of the island and is next to the Dominican Republic. Haiti is slightly smaller than Maryland. It is in the Carribean, just southeast of Cuba. There are over 8.5 million people who live in Haiti. Pignon, which is the city that we are in, has about 35,000 people.

At one time, it was the wealthiest in the Carribean. Haiti became independent from France in 1804. Haiti became the first black republic to declare it’s independence. Haiti is now the poorest country in the western hemisphere as it has been plagued by political violence for most of its history. 80% of the people in Haiti live under the poverty line and 54% live in abject poverty. More than 2/3 of the labor force do not have jobs, because there aren’t jobs. One may do odd jobs to earn some money, but does not hold a regular job.

Some of the current environmental issues are extensive deforestation, soil erosion, and inadequate supplies of potable water. Trees are being cut down for agriculture and also for fuel.
The average life expectancy is 57 years old. French is the official language, but most speak Creole. 95% of the population is black, 5% is mulatto and white.

The agricultural products that they have in Haiti are coffee, mangoes, sugarcane, rice, corn, sorghum and wood. The industries in Haiti are sugar refining, flour milling, textiles, cement, and light assembly based on imported parts.

Haiti was dedicated to Satan over 100 years ago by the leader of the country. Roughly half of the population practices voodoo.

My heart is for wholistic ministry: ministering to the whole person, the physical, the spiritual, the mental, the emotional. Before I arrived here, and I read up on Haiti on the plane, I felt the Lord telling me that there would be an opportunity to minister in such a way. I was pleasantly surprised that on my first day, the Lord confirmed this thought.

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