You would have to be living in a cave not to be aware of the devastating earthquake this week in Haiti.  So far the death toll is over 100,000 and it will likely rise much higher.  The widespread carnage of the 7.0 earthquake is compounded by the fact that many of the buildings and homes are very poorly constructed in the first place.

The history of Haiti is a complicated and sad story.  The island of Hispaniola is shared with the Dominican Republic.  Haiti is the French side, the DR is the Spanish side.  The indigenous population was almost completely wiped out by European diseases centuries ago.  The island was entirely repopulated with African slaves.  On the Western side, France created a major sugar, rum, coffee and cotton center.  By the end of the 18th century, France had enslaved more than 500,000 Africans to work in their territory.   After a successful slave rebellion early in the 19th century, the former slaves defeated the French.  Most whites were killed or expelled from the country.  Ultimately France recognized Haitian independence in exchange for 150 million francs in 1825.

The heavy deforestation of Haiti for the coffee and sugar plantations exposed the country to immense erosion turning much of this formerly fertile country into a wasteland.  The damage can be clearly seen by aerial photographs.  The boundary between Haiti and the Dominican Republic used to be called the green line as the deforestation literally followed the border.  Today it is only a little less evident.

The Haitian religion of Voodoo has not served them well either as many believe life is simply predestined by the Voodoo spirits called lwa.  Early Catholicism tried to discourage the practice of Voodoo but today the two religions are often practiced together.  Recently Evangelical Christianity has made great inroads in Haiti.  15% of Haitians are now evangelical Christians.  7 of the 11 radio stations are owned by Christian organizations.  1,000’s of missionaries are in Haiti already, although sadly many will have died in this earthquake. 


As the world reacts Christian organizations will be amongst the first to be on the ground in response.  Church of the Rock will be partnering with some of these groups.  I will post back shortly as to who we will be working with and how you can get involved.  In the meantime let us pray for this nation in crisis.


Church of the Rock will be working with Franklin Graham’s organization Samaritan’s Purse.  They have already sent a team with 4,800 blankets, 160 rolls of plastic, 2,200 solar-powered flashlights, two community water filters capable of filtering 40,000 litres of drinking water per day, 1,152 jerry cans, and 1,440 hygiene kits.  A team of 60 volunteers have been mobilized to help distribute the materials.  A second team will land in Haiti on Thursday. It will include six doctors from a medical ministry in Ecuador, who served with Samaritan’s Purse following a deadly earthquake in Peru in 2007.  Other relief will be sent as funds are available.  The government of Canada has said they will match every dollar donated.  (They have not confirmed what organizations qualify but at the moment it looks like SP will)  If anyone wants to donate they can do it to Samaritan’s Purse directly http://www.samaritanspurse.ca/ or through Church of the Rock http://www.churchoftherock.ca/.  Just hit the Donate Online link.  Monies donated in Missions General box will go to Haiti relief until the end of the month.

Here is the information on how to volunteer.

Current Work Opportunities

To effectively respond when a disaster occurs, we need immediate communication with potential volunteers. We maintain a list of people throughout Canada who are interested in responding to natural disasters both internationally and within North America.

Samaritan’s Purse relies on volunteers to carry out relief operations, and we provide the equipment, materials and leadership needed to respond.

Our disaster Relief Teams bring tangible help in a time of great need. We seek committed volunteers who have and heart to serve, and understand the mission of Samaritan’s Purse to go and help people in Christ’s Name.

Join our Contact List

To effectively respond when a disaster occurs, we need immediate communication with potential volunteers. We maintain a list of people throughout Canada who are interested in responding to natural disasters both internationally and within North America.

If you would like to be added to our contact list, send the following information to info@samaritan.ca:

  • Your name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address

If you are part of our contact list, you will be informed whenever Samaritan’s Purse has a relief opportunity and is in need of volunteers. You are under no obligation to sign up for a team.

How to Volunteer

To join a Relief Team, you must complete and submit the Application Forms below. You are welcome to do this in advance, should you want to join a team when a disaster occurs. **If you are interested in signing up as a church or group, please contact Samaritan’s Purse directly for further information.

Application Forms

Contact & Submission Info

Samaritan’s Purse – Canada
ATTN: Relief Teams

20 Hopewell Way NE
Calgary, AB T3J 5H2

Phone: 1.800.663.6500
Fax: (403) 250.6567

Please take the time to review our privacy policy.

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12 Responses to A NATION IN CRISIS

  1. todd says:

    I’d like to help by going there. How can I join the effort. I’d even go on Thursday with this next team if they want me. I’d donate $1,000 for the opportunity to help further in this way. Mark please comment here if this is possible.

  2. Mark Hughes says:

    Great offer, I have posted the info above as to how to get involved with a SP team.

  3. todd says:

    Okay great. Done it. I hope they call. I’m ready to serve with my hands and back. I wish I was there right now. The thought of injured people being trapped out of reach keeps me up at night. God help them.

  4. Shane says:

    The application link did not work for me. It said file not found. Can this be found somewhere else? Thanks in advance.

  5. Mark Hughes says:

    It’s the only link I found. The email should work though. Also try the 1 800 number.

  6. Linda says:

    The link works if you go directly to the samaritan’s purse website and try it there.

  7. Isaac says:

    It sucks that right now I’m simply not able to help. But I read an article about natural disasters, and apparently the support is usually incredible at first, but then it wanes. I think I’ll donate with my tax refund. Hopefully this horrible disaster will in the end be the catalyst for Haiti’s heart to turn to Christ.

  8. Steve says:

    If that’s what God did to Haiti to turn their hearts, what’s He gonna do to us?

  9. Jasmine says:


    I don’t believe that God did that to Haiti. We are the ones who deviated from God’s perfect will for us and because we now live in a fallen world, His permissive will allows us to experience hardship so that our hearts can once again come into line with His perfect will–so that we will ultimately become the people that He had originally intended us to be. If we are receptive to Him, He will continue to use our difficulties to shape us until the day we meet Him in heaven and are finally made completely whole and perfect as He had originally intended.

  10. Steve says:

    I know, I was just kidding. I guess I was hinting towards the point that I really don’t think we are any more righteous in North America than they are in Haiti. We applaud the murder of babies, worship the earth, indulge in grotesque immorality and if we’re not doing it outright we’re letting people teach us this philosophy on tv and movies. It reminds me of a term used in revelation, Babylon. Correct me if I’m wrong but I think we were told to get out of Babylon. And there was something else with that…Oh yeah, or we will suffer the same plagues that will come upon Babylon. God does not want His children to hurt but it’s like you said, He uses affliction to bring their hearts around sometimes. I hope we’re all smart enough to get out of this Babylonian system that is forcing itself on us.

  11. Steve says:

    Then again I could be totally wrong and we turn our hearts to God and everything’s great. Didn’t mean to be a downer there I’m just concerned about where our culture is heading. I’m gonna try to support Haita in any way I can. God bless them and help them at this time.

  12. todd says:

    I received an e-mail back from this organization stating that plans/trips are developing and that they’ll contact me with the particulars when they need me. That was before this mornings 2nd earthquake so not sure if the need is now greater or possibly the opposite in that civilian efforts may be supplanted by military forces from around the world (due to the increasing dangers such as the looting and violence etc).

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