After the quake: Revival in Haiti
In times of turmoil God calls many to himself.
by Bob Poff –
It’s Easter weekend and my wife and I are enjoying a few days to rest and recharge our batteries in Haiti. We will be worshipping and preaching at a Salvation Army corps on Resurrection Sunday, and we’re reflecting on the past 2-plus months since the earthquake.
Many things have taken place in Haiti since Jan. 12—none of them more amazing and significant than what is happening in churches all across Haiti. In the first hours following the quake, a revival began. It started in the impromptu camps that sprang up at The Salvation Army compound and many other locations. Each time the earth trembled with an after-shock, the frightened souls lying on the ground would stand to their feet, tears streaming down their cheeks, as they cried out to God. Sometimes, words of praise and worship. Other times, petition to stop the tremors. Always, there was a sense of reverence and awe—of respect for the God of the universe who is calling the nation of Haiti to himself!
Fear gripped the hearts of many in the days that followed. Many of us, including our Divisional Commander Major Lucien Lamartiniere, wondered if this was the Second Coming of Christ! This thought caused thousands of Haitians to consider their own plight, if indeed this was to be “the end.” The singing that began on the first day didn’t end soon! Each night, often as the small children cried themselves to sleep, believers and new believers could be heard singing throughout the land, “Did you feel the mountains tremble…fling wide your heavenly gates, prepare the way of the risen Lord!”
Since those early hours after the quake, literally thousands of Haitians have turned to God—some coming for the very first time—with contrite and broken hearts. God is indeed using this natural disaster to do “supernatural” things! In Salvation Army corps in Haiti, over 1,000 individuals have accepted Christ as their Savior since Jan. 12, 2010.
In the month of March, two youth councils were conducted—the first with over 500 in attendance—the second with over 1,000. In each council, the mercy seat was lined with young people responding to God’s call to draw close to him.
Opportunities for ministry are unprecedented: Bible studies, new-believer classes, increased opportunities for family ministry, even new Salvation Army soldiers being enrolled as a result of this exciting movement of God! And there is even the possibility for new Salvation Army outposts and corps to be developed.
The future for Haiti is still unclear. There is so much to be done…so many questions to be answered…many obstacles to be cleared away. But in the midst of uncertainty and calamity, the still small voice of God’s Holy Spirit is being listened to in amazing ways.
“And we can see that God you’re moving, a time of jubilee is coming, when young and old will turn to Jesus…” (Hillsong United, “Did You Hear the Mountains Tremble?”).
Even so, Lord Jesus, come!