Posted by: John Adams | January 19, 2010

My Response to the Earthquake in Haiti

A couple of weeks before the earthquake, I was at the Port-au-Prince airport, awaiting a connecting flight to the northern city of Cap-Haitien. My flight was running a couple of hours late–a typical Haitian experience–so I was wandering around the small terminal with nothing to do. A couple of taxi-stand dispatchers noticed the Bible in my hand and–upon discovering that I was a seminary student–turned me into a portable Bible college, asking me their toughest questions as I relished every moment. I was struck during the course of the conversation by the spiritual hunger evident in these people, who were “like sheep without a shepherd,” hungry for the Word of God but untaught and undiscipled.

A few hours later, gazing out the window as the plane traveled north, my heart was saddened by the brown, arid landscape around Port-au-Prince. Haiti is 97% deforested, and many of the mountains bear deep scars from hurricane-related landslides, as well as mining and quarrying that have been performed without regard for the natural environment. As the plane began to cross over the mountains, I felt the Lord impress upon my spirit that the natural landscape matched what was happening to Haiti in the spiritual realm. Centuries of spiritual devastation had left their mark upon the people, and for lack of knowledge, many had perished. When storms have come, many have been swept away because they have no spiritual root system.

As the plane crossed into the North, however, I saw rainclouds forming over the mountains, eventually giving way to a lush, green rain valley. I felt another impression upon my spirit–that God would send an outpouring of His Spirit to Haiti, and that it would begin from the North and spread outwards. The following Sunday, I shared this with my church as a conclusion to my sermon out of John 6, which states that Jesus did not come merely to give bread, but to be bread given for the life of the world. In that passage, Jesus says that unless we eat his flesh and drink his blood, we have no life in us. I challenged each individual member of our local church to take Jesus seriously, to learn the Word of God for themselves, and to be prepared to play a role in the harvest that the Lord was bringing to Haiti.

The rest of my time in Haiti was spent assisting two pastors’ conferences–one in the South in Grand-Goave and one in Cap-Haitien. Both conferences were blessed with powerful praise and worship where the manifest presence of God was tangible. During the latter conference, I saw a couple of my childhood friends receive prophetic words over their lives. It was incredibly moving to see these friends, who had previously been on the fringes of the church, get set into the church and begin to move into their calling and destiny. On the Sunday before last, as the rain poured down, my church ordained three new elders and rejoiced as one was sent out to plant a new church across town. On Tuesday, my siblings and I flew back to the U.S., leaving Port-au-Prince around 11:30 in the morning.

At 4:53 p.m. the same day, an earthquake struck Port-au-Prince and changed Haiti’s history forever. In the days since the earthquake, amid the flood of news coverage, the search to ascertain the safety of friends and church members caught in the quake, and the tremendous grief of seeing a country that one holds so dear suffer such a tremendous loss of life and property, there have been glimmers of hope sparkling out from the wreckage. Even six days on, survivors continued to be pulled from the rubble, a testament to the hardiness of the Haitian people. A little girl named Winnie, who is barely a year old, has already become a national hero by surviving 68 hours spent buried under the ruins of a building.

Furthermore, the outpouring of compassion from the world community has been truly astonishing, and the Dominican Republic (which has historically had ethnic and political tension with Haiti) was reportedly the first country to arrive on the scene. It seems as though every church and every charity in the world has directed its efforts toward Haiti, and despite some of the logistical problems in getting aid to the scenes of destruction, it has been truly heart-warming to see the world rush to Haiti’s assistance.

The most beautiful outcome of this disaster, however, has been the response of the Haitian church. Already a church well-accustomed to suffering and a band of Christians that routinely leave my mouth agape because of their incredible faith through the harshest adversity, Christians in Haiti have shone like stars in the universe as they have conducted praise marches through the rubble, worshiped on the ruins of their own houses, and filled black-out nights with songs of praise. What the world does not acknowledge, God notices. Though they have no earthly fame, Christ’s beautiful bride in Haiti is bringing him much glory out of a situation that is seemingly hopeless.

While I do not believe that God caused the earthquake, the Bible states clearly that He can work it to the good of those who love Him. A visiting minister prophesied in our church a few years ago out of Hosea 2:17 that the Lord was going to open “a door of hope in the valley of trouble.” Though I did not know how it would be accomplished, I am beginning to see that word find fulfillment as refugees stream into Cap-Haitien, the nation’s second-largest city. I am praying that thousands upon thousands would respond to the Gospel in faith, would find their way into powerful, life-giving churches, and would be sent from there to touch the nation. I believe that the door of hope to which Hosea refers is the Gospel, which alone has the power to effect the full restoration of Haiti–curing body and soul, satisfying spiritual as well as physical hunger, healing hearts and homeland alike, to the eternal glory of God alone. Long after the news crews have gone home, the church will still be in Haiti, preaching the Gospel of Jesus to any and all who will listen, and in that Gospel may millions find redemption for now as well as for eternity.



  1. Bravo! God is opening a door for us to minister to at least 40 refugees in Gonaïves who came under Patrice’s care after having lost everything in Carrefour. They lost homes, church, pastors, clothes, jobs, family members. Jesus is the Door of hope. May we be used of God to restore hope in their lives!

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ashish Joy, John Adams. John Adams said: My Response to the Earthquake in Haiti: […]

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