We acknowledged above that the need for the Gospel of Jesus and social missions is great all around the world. According to Global Front Missions over 3.2 Billion souls around the world live in a group of people among whom there is not “a community of home-grown Christians large enough or with adequate resources to evangelize” and grow their Christian community without outside assistance.
Haiti does have a significant number of professing Christians. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs approximately 29% of Haiti’s population self-identifies as Protestant Christian (We have found record of 31 Churches of Christ with total approximate membership of 2,483). Unfortunately the same report shows that approximately 80% of Haitians, to one degree or another, practice Voodoo. I’m reminded of Judges 21.
However, we do not think this relatively high percentage of pagans makes Haitians an “unreached people group.” There is a large and robust indigenous community of believers. The faced by believers in Haiti is trying to get the resources needed to evangelize the community and care for those who can’t care for themselves.
Haiti became an independent country on January 1, 1804 after a bloody revolution that lasted 7 to 13 years, depending on who is doing the counting. Unlike the US Revolution which formally ended, in the treaty of Paris on September 3, 1783, when King George III recognized each of the thirteen colonies as free and independent nation states. Haiti left the French Empire owing reparations of 150 million Gold French Franks to the French Crown. That is equivalent to $604,215,000 in today’s US Dollars. Of course, pointing to the great risk, European and US banks were happy to loan these huge sums at nearly “title loan” rates. From 1825 to 1947 80% of the value of all of the goods and services produced by Haiti’s citizens went to pay these reparations. Just imagine; how would our history be different if eighty cents out of every dollar had gone back to the king before the US built one road, started one school, or hired one soldier? That is the reality of Haiti’s history.
Why Haiti? Because they love Jesus, believers will walk four hours in the topical sun to share the Gospel. In spite of the severe limitations of material resources, they share what they have with love and continue to grow the Kingdom of God.