This month our missions focus will be on the nation and beliefs of Haiti. We are sending a group to Haiti October 2-7, 2020. If you would like to join that group, please contact Allen Brooks or Rebecca Mudd. There is great work being done to see people come to salvation in Jesus Christ, and as we will talk about today, there is a desperate need for the Gospel in Haiti.
The dominant religion in Haiti is listed as Roman Catholic. However, it is reported that many practice a syncretistic version of Roman Catholicism. Meaning, they mix the beliefs and practices of Catholicism with another religion. In Haiti that other religion seems to be predominantly Voodou (Voodoo). In Voodou worship, participants seek to come in contact with Loa (any one of many spirits). Their worship can involve animal sacrifices, dancing, possession, and is usually centered around a pole or tree. Below is the description of a Voodou ceremony by National Geographic reporter Sharon Guynup in 2004:
THE CEREMONY BEGINS with a Roman Catholic prayer. Then three drummers begin to play syncopated rhythms. The attendees begin to dance around a tree in the center of the yard, moving faster and harder with the rising pulse of the beat. The priest draws sacred symbols in the dust with cornmeal, and rum is poured on the ground to honor the spirits.
One woman falls to the ground, convulsing for a moment before she is helped back to her feet. She resumes the dance, moving differently now, and continues dancing for hours. It is perhaps no longer she who is dancing: She is in a trance, apparently possessed by Erzuli, the great mother spirit.
Be in prayer for the believers in Haiti who are surrounded by this evil every day. Pray that God would guard them, and give them boldness to proclaim the truth of the Gospel. Pray for our group that will go in October, that their hearts might also be prepared and protected as they travel and serve. Remember, that the Enemy is at work in many ways and in many forms.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” – Ephesians 6:12 ESV