As of late Wednesday, a Haitian agency reported 2,189 deaths and 12,268 injured from the recent calamities that hit the country, and a Christian nonprofit reveals that people are in need of help physically and spiritually.
Several Christian organizations are giving basic supplies and medical treatment to individuals affected by the recent catastrophes, reports the Christian Post (CP), citing an approximate 684,000 people in need of urgent help.
Five days earlier, an earthquake of 7.2 magnitude hit the south coast of Haiti at Les Cayes. Two days later, the nation was pounded by torrential rains brought on by Tropical Storm Grace, which caused flooding and slowed search and rescue operations. In addition, there was the two-day shutdown of a hospital in Port-au-Prince, the national capital, where some of the wounded were transferred.
Several Christian groups are evaluating the impact and helping with relief efforts. One was LiveBeyond, a Christian non-profit with a decade-long presence in Haiti. The non-profit is helping those injured in the Les Cayes earthquake.
In a tweet on Monday, the non-profit said that its activities in the Thomazeau area had not been disrupted, and it asked people all over the globe to pray for Haitians who have lost loved ones, as well as for the country's recovery.
Dr. David Vanderpool, founder of LiveBeyond, said he's planning to return to Haiti, where LiveBeyond has opened its facility to accept wounded via choppers. They expect to spend close to $200,000 on medical and disaster relief.
The organization has reportedly helped thousands of people in Haiti's Thomazeau region since 2010, and dug 97 water wells to supply clean drinking water. Each day, these wells supply approximately 200,000 gallons of water to locals.
LiveBeyond provides "spiritual guidance, prayer, and discipleship training" while feeding thousands of children and families every day. It also claims to have saved 300 lives via its maternity program.
It also offers educational programs for students in kindergarten through eleventh grade, including those with learning disabilities.
Dr. Vanderpool's group has expanded daily nutritional assistance from 6,400 to almost 7,500 kids. He believes his group would need to feed approximately 10,000 children each day to adequately feed all of Thomazeau's starving children.
The missionary life is not without risk and danger
Five armed gang members tried to abduct Dr. Vanderpool's wife Laurie five years after the couple relocated to the Caribbean island.
David and Laurie fled. But the assailants dragged and battered Laurie badly. David, a trauma surgeon, claimed he had no option but to operate on his wife several times in their home clinic. She was subsequently sent to the U.S. for treatment. Laurie needed almost a month to heal from her injuries, while not needing long-term hospitalization.
Despite what happened, David said that they had no reservations about continuing God's work in Haiti.
However, he advised Christian missions groups not to go to Haiti at this time, but to donate to organizations currently working there.
Due to gang violence, David also advises against short-term mission visits to Haiti. "The way people can help is to find a good organization that is feeding children and support it," he said.
People may also help Haiti by praying, he added.
A resurgence of spiritual yearning
CP said Haiti has already been suffering socially and politically following President Jovenel Moïse's murder last month.
David claimed he has also witnessed personally the increase in gang-related violence after Moïse murder on July 7. However, rising violence and natural catastrophes have only increased Haitians' spiritual desire and development.
"Typically, persecution increases faith for those who have faith," he said.
"Introducing people to the Christian faith is a real challenging situation because many people respond differently. But many Haitians with faith have turned to God more now than ever," he added.
Haitians are spiritually aware enough to grasp the Gospel
Voodoo priests have control over people because they are renowned for "casting spells and asserting their power in Haiti's villages," David told CP.
Apparently, Haitians who worship Satan are making use of demonic power.
David explained that many Haitians believe in the existence of the devil through voodoo and that terrible things happen because of wicked spiritual powers.
"Many Haitians have a clear picture of the spiritual realm," he said. Nonetheless, "they know God is a God of love," he added.
"It's a complex issue," he said, noting that he and his team in Haiti remained undistracted from their primary mission.
"...Our goal is to continue to preach about the truth that can be found in God only, while doing the work we were called by God to do for the purpose of aiding in humanitarian development to improve people's physical and spiritual lives," he said.