February 27, 2024 | Carrefour, Port-au-Prince, Haiti | Jean Carmy Félixon and Libna Stevens, Inter-American Division News

The Adventist University of Haiti (UNAH) in Carrefour, Port-au-Prince, in Haiti, has reopened four weeks after armed men entered the campus on January 23, 2024.

“We have opened our doors back again trusting in God for protection because we have to continue educating,” said Dr. Sénèque Edmond, president of UNAH this week. “The threats are still there, for we know anything can happen, but God spared us.”

Adventist University of Haiti reopened its campus in Carrefour last week after it shutdown after armed men entered the campus on Jan. 23, 2024. [Photo: Alexis Ginel / UNAH]

Most  students returned to the campus and dormitories, university officials said. “A few are still unable to return because they are still stuck in some provinces across the country,” said Edmond.

The reopening of the university on Feb. 21, 2024, saw administrators, teachers, staff, and students participating in a four-day national fasting and prayer called by the Adventist Church in Haiti. Students, teachers, and staff prayed together several times during the day at UNAH’s auditorium to plead for deliverance from the escalating violence that has affected church members, schools, churches, and institutions across Haiti.

In a statement to church members, Pastor Pierre Caporal, president of the Adventist Church in Haiti, said that they are not alone and that the church administration understands their suffering and that the Lord can hear the cries and pain they are going through. “God has a plan for each of us, for His church and our country which is in turmoil,” said Caporal. “Fix your eyes on Him today more than ever and pray to Him with persistence, constancy and a lot of fervor and faith for the deliverance of the country.”

A high school students leads primary and secondary school students in prayer during special session on Feb. 23, 2024, at the Adventist University of Haiti’s auditorium. Seventh-day Adventists across Haiti fasted and prayed for the safety of the membership during specific segments from Feb. 21 to 24, 2024. [Photo: Daniel Lima Lucien / UNAH]

Pastor Caporal invited church members and their families to pray in their homes, small groups, churches, schools, and institutions to fast and pray for God’s tender care

Local churches throughout Haiti took part in the prayer and fasting on Sabbath, Feb. 24.

Inter-American Division President Pastor Elie Henry encouraged leaders and church members during an online program on Feb. 24 to continue pressing on even in the midst of uncertainty and distress and to seek God in prayer every day. “I invite you to continue to meditate God’s Word, reflect in His goodness and pray to Him daily,” said Pastor Henry. “Sometimes we expected God to reveal Himself through great things or great events in our life but God comes in a gentle breath to speak us,” he said. “We must turn our eyes towards God and we will be radiant with joy for He comes into our hearts to soothe our torments and give meaning and direction to our lives.”

Inter-American Division President Pastor Elie Henry, delivers a special message to church members in Haiti during a special online segment on Hope Media Haiti’s  Youtube account on Feb. 24, 2024. [Photo: Screenshot]

According to Yonel Bissainthe, communication director at the Bethlehem Adventist Church in Pétion-ville, Haiti, dozens of church members filled the church to pray, confess their sins, and pray together for God’s presence. “Many were so happy to take the time to lay their burdens at the feet of Jesus and left reassured that God would bring about rest from the violence,” said Bissainthe.

Marie Carmen Alvarez, a member of the Shékina Adventist Church in Port-au-Prince, followed the program both in person and online throughout the four days of fasting and prayer. “Only God has the last word. We can do nothing but rely on Him through prayer and wait on God’s intervention for we know that the situation will not last forever,” said Alvarez. “I believe that God will work on our behalf.”

For months, Adventist churches across Haiti have had to adjust their services to morning or early afternoon to allow members to be home before dark. Church leaders reported recently that 15 churches have closed, and more than 3,500 church members have been displaced.

First year theology students sit during a class on Feb. 23. 2024 on the campus of Adventist University of Haiti in Carrefour, Port-au-Prince, Haiti. [Photo: Mikneja Jahlleel Marcellus/UNAH]

Addressing so many church members who have been displaced because of the violence in their communities, Pastor Edgar Etienne, dean of the School of Theology in UNAH and pastor of the university church, urged them to rely on God every minute of the day. “We must pray to follow God’s plan for our lives,” said Etienne. “If we must flee our homes, it is God who must show us where to go. Let us not run without God.”

There are more than 500,000 Seventh-day Adventists in Haiti. The Adventist Church oversees some 1,330 churches and congregations overseen by the Haitian Union and its one conference and four missions. The union operates a hospital, university, and dozens of primary and secondary schools.

 

 

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