Physical, spiritual and emotional healing are occurring where Voodoo and poverty have been the norm
Eighteen months after a horrific earthquake left a path of death and destruction, Haiti has emerged from the rubble a new nation. Pastor Rene Joseph, founder of Loving Hands Ministry of Haiti, believes wholeheartedly that Haiti’s healing is underway—and the spiritual awakening that began after the earthquake is rapidly spreading.
Loving Hands Ministry is a Christian, international, nonprofit relief organization with headquarters in Florida and Haiti. Founded in 1987, the ministry delivers food, medicine, clothing and other necessities to those who lack these essentials due to famine, poverty or natural disaster. Last year the ministry shipped more than 6,000 meals each month to children and families in Haiti.
In his 25 years of ministry, Joseph has also planted 35 churches and three orphanages. He and his wife, Dorentia, pastor a large church in downtown Port-au-Prince. The church holds 2,500 people but has outgrown its capacity since the earthquake. Plans are under way to repair quake damage and construct a larger sanctuary.
“People are coming to the Lord all over Haiti, and all of our churches are growing. We need to continue with crusades and we need to build more churches,” Joseph said.
On Feb. 12, 2010, then-President Rene Garcia Préval called Haitians to three days of fasting and prayer in place of the regular Mardi Gras celebration. Several of the nation’s Christian leaders, including Joseph, had just five days to set up and arrange that epic event—a rally held in front of the presidential palace in downtown Port-au-Prince. More than one million Haitians attended.
“That was the beginning of something very big because our people cried out for God’s help,” Joseph said. “We saw over 100 Voodoo priests give their lives to the Lord and hundreds of people turning their lives back to God.”
Last year, Joan Hunter Ministries of Pinehurst, Texas, went to Haiti shortly after the earthquake to conduct pastor training and hold a three-day healing crusade over Easter in partnership with Loving Hands Ministries.
Hunter is the daughter of the late miracle evangelists Charles and Francis Hunter and is carrying on her parents’ successful evangelistic healing ministry. In April, she returned to Haiti with a team of 20 trained ministers. Spiritual renewal and national progress was evident, she observed.
“I noticed the difference the minute I stepped off the plane,” Hunter said. “The spirit of oppression has lifted. People no longer have that ‘Haitian stare’—they are walking with a plan and a purpose.”
Although an estimated 1,700 people still live in tents in downtown Port-au-Prince and much more needs to be done to rebuild, the good news is that there is the look and feel of a new day in Haiti.
“That’s what this is all about,” Hunter said. “It is about teaching others that we can all have the same level of faith, we can all see miracles, each of us can access the same healing power that Jesus had.”
During the recent crusade a young boy with damaged limbs who had been carried onto the stage was seen walking back and forth without assistance soon after receiving prayer. Wheel chairs and crutches were also left behind.
A top security guard fell to his knees and prayed for his nation. A high-ranking police officer took the microphone and belted out praise and worship. Several government officials also attended the event and spoke to the crowd. Hunter encouraged everyone to spread new hope by taking a message of healing and salvation wherever they go.
“Now that’s the key to revival,” Joseph said. “The healing for Haiti starts now.”