Lessons from Haiti

"Lessons from Haiti" Continued...

Issue: "At the wire," Nov. 6, 2010

Clark also thinks any new ministry shouldn't depend nearly exclusively on foreign support, and that it should provide a way to train indigenous pastors in their own country, instead of bringing them to the United States. Another key component: focusing first on preaching and teaching. He says that at PMH "it all became brick and mortar, brick and mortar."

For now, Delfils-also a graduate of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary-says the new church will rent a building in Port-au-Prince. He hopes to help fill the gap for what he says is one of the biggest needs for churches in Haiti: well-trained men to lead. And he's hopeful about the church's future, even while conditions in Haiti remain bleak. Delfils lost his home and a sister in the quake but sees opportunities amid tragedy. "In front of the building we are renting is a big tent city," he says. "So there is a good opportunity to go and present the gospel to people and minister to them." Even the worst disasters, he says, "can help the ministry move on."

Hundreds of candidates, no real choices

By Jamie Dean

When Haitian voters head to the polls on Nov. 28 for the first election since the January earthquake, they will face a massive ballot: 19 candidates for the presidency and more than 900 candidates running for 100 parliamentary seats. And other challenges loom: Election observers worry that the contests won't be fair. The U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations issued a July report criticizing the electoral council appointed by out­going President René Préval for banning the popular leftist party Fanmi Lavalas.

The council also banned other prominent Haitians from running, including Raymond Joseph, who resigned his position as the Haitian ambassador to the United States to run for president. The former ambassador called the council's actions "arbitrary" and "shenanigans," and he told NPR that they showed the ruling political elite doesn't intend to hold fair elections. The leading candidate a few weeks before elections was Jude Celestin, Préval's 48-year-old protégé.

For now, it's unclear how many Haitians will vote. While dissatisfaction with the government remains high, so does apathy over the government's ability to solve problems. A large slate of candidates offering few specifics for reform may not inspire turnout. "I have voted so much and nothing has been realized," construction worker Leo Pierre told The Miami Herald. "I don't know if I will vote."

Jamie Dean
Jamie Dean

Jamie lives and works in North Carolina, where she covers the political beat and other topics as national editor for WORLD Magazine. Follow Jamie on Twitter @deanworldmag.


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