A Christian nonprofit organization based in Haiti is urging people worldwide to pray for the nation’s recovery following a massive 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck last Saturday near Les Cayes.
As of late Wednesday, Haiti’s Civil Protection Agency reported the death toll at 2,189, with 12,268 people injured and dozens still missing.
In a recent interview with The Christian Post, Dr. David Vanderpool, the founder of LiveBeyond, explained how the organization is operating in the Caribbean country at the present time.
LiveBeyond is working as part of a disaster relief group under the Haitian Ministry of Health as they have put up a hospital to receive injured people by helicopter.
“Even though I’m not currently there now, our base is operating completely normal, and our staff have reported that we are feeding more people because marketplaces and ports have been shut down in Haiti, so food is scarce,” Vanderpool explained. “Typically, persecution increases faith for those who have faith."
“Introducing people to the Christian faith is a real challenging situation because many people respond differently,” he noted. “But many Haitians with faith have turned to God more now than ever.”
Vanderpool, who is also a trauma surgeon, founded LiveBeyond in 2005 to provide disaster relief following Hurricane Katrina. In 2010, the organization expanded to Haiti in response to a 7.0 magnitude earthquake that killed over 300,000.
Vanderpool and his wife Laurie also serve as missionaries in Haiti following previous efforts around the world for LiveBeyond.
Throughout his time there, Vanderpool noticed that many Haitians practice Voodoo and that its priests are known for "casting spells and asserting their power in Haiti’s villages," and "they often are well-off."
He contended that many people in Haiti are worshipping the devil “through Voodoo and they understand there are bad spiritual forces in the world, and that when bad things are happening it’s due to the evil that Satan brings about.”