Haitian village gains spiritual, financial prosperity without voodoo
A small village in Haiti is enjoying prosperity, education and spiritual wealth because of a Christian ministry that was founded in 1999.
The village of Gramothe, one hour away from Port-au-prince, today has schools, a clinic, a church, water system and homes—a great change from 10 years before, when all they had were five voodoo temples, The Christian Post said.
In 1999, Willem Charles founded Mountain Top Ministries which challenged voodoo in the village where there was no clean water, not enough jobs, and no hope at all, according to The Christian Post.
Give Your Best, a book authored by Andrew DeWitt, tells the story of Charles. DeWitt told The Christian Post, “There are pockets in Haiti that are actually transforming from poverty and voodoo to prosperity and Christianity.”
Charles grew up in a one-room home with nine other people. However, he grew up to become a CNN interpreter, and helped to convey to the world the chaotic presidency of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, according to The Christian Post.
Other successes Charles enjoyed before founding MTM, according to The Christian Post, included joining Haiti’s national soccer team, plus personal success as a businessman.
Charles started MTM in Gramothe because it was the village on the hill across his childhood home. He knew that 90 percent of its people were jobless, and the teacher in the tiny school had only a third-grade education. Villagers walked a mile to get drinking water from a river where they also bathed and laundered their clothes, The Christian Post said.
Today, there are spigots near the homes of the villagers delivering clean water, reducing disease, and enabling farmers to plant year round instead of depending on rain, increasing their produce fourfold, The Christian Post reported.
Changes with MTM
Today villagers can save money to remodel their homes, and children study up to 12th grade at the village’s Christian school. According to The Christian Post, a high school diploma is deemed a huge feat in Haiti.
In the book Charles says, “What Haiti needs is freedom and security. Along with that, education will bring jobs, which will bring overall prosperity,” The Christian Post reported.
A former colony of France, Haitian slaves of the French colonizers were required to become Catholics. However, the people instead incorporated the Catholic icons into their voodoo religion, according to The Christian Post.
In the book DeWitt wrote, “As a result, Catholicism has a different meaning to the people here in Haiti. In some ways it is synonymous with voodoo.” Charles understood this, and through MTM villagers learned to let voodoo go, The Christian Post said.
For example, a man in the village complained to Charles about the rats in his home which bit his children leaving sores on them. Charles raised money to build the man a new house and told him to keep it clean, according to The Christian Post.
He also told the man, “Voodoo is like the old house. It’s full of a bunch of spirits that are just like rats. You’ve seen the damage the rats do to your children. Voodoo does the same thing to our spirit. But God is a jealous God. He won’t allow any voodoo at all in your life,” The Christian Post reported.
The Christian Post noted that Haiti has had a succession of corrupt rulers and some 200 years of near chaos. It is one of the poorest countries in the world, rendered even poorer with the Jan. 12 earthquake.
Quoting DeWitt, The Christian Post noted that Haiti could still reshape itself into a new, prosperous country. DeWitt said, “If MTM can display the village of Gramothe as a model for other villages to follow, then all over Haiti villages can do what we are doing, and we can defeat generational poverty village by village.”