On Thursday, April 29, evangelical church leaders met for a time of prayer with President Boniface Alexandre at the presidential palace in Port-au-Prince. This meeting was in contrast to recent waves of violence following the February 28 resignation of the former president, and the civil unrest that led to the evacuation of many missionaries.
Bible League's Latin America Director Tim DeVries said, "They were able to sit down and talk about some of the concerns with the church, pray with them. He actually received the Bible as well. So, we're very excited about the opportunities that might bring for a little bit more openness for the church to work and the church to grow." Bible League’s Director of Haiti Ministry was among those present at the presidential palace.
Although the Bible League’s Port-au-Prince office was within the vicinity of the presidential palace, no damage had been inflicted on the building during the civil unrest earlier this year. “We are very thankful to the Lord because we only closed [the office] for one week, even though we are just a couple blocks away from the presidential palace,” said DeVries. “Every building surrounding our office was burned or looted, but the Bible League ministry office was untouched.”
Although the present state of Haiti has shown some improvement since the end of February, struggles within the nation have still been difficult. However, according to DeVries, the most recent violence has actually led to a more effective outreach. “Because of all the difficulties [and] people had to stay at home, they were much more open to having Bible studies in their home. Churches concentrated again on doing what you can do, which is gather together in Bible study and sharing the Gospel with your neighbors and those that are close by,” he said.
Continuing, DeVries reported, “We have seen a tremendous increase in our ministry and getting people into small group Bible studies and doing evangelism. The church has been awake to reaching people for Christ. We have actually doubled the results of our ministry in the last few months.”
“People are seeking the Lord. We cannot keep up with the training demands, or with the demand for Scriptures. There is a tremendous hunger in Haiti for God’s Word, and for peace.”
All of last year the ministry had 40,000 people go through Bibles studies. And since September 2003 they've had 60,000 attend and many are turning to Christ. The Bible League works with local churches in more than 49 countries worldwide.