This is an excerpt from my unpublished memoir of our first ten years in Haiti. This is a true story of a true healing that brought an entire family to Christ.
Just yesterday while Joel was in the Cap Haitian Marche, Michou the girl, now 51 greeted Joel with hugs and kisses and told others, “It is because of him that I am alive today!” In a subsequent meeting, Michou’s testimony is recorded for our Creole Christian TV show La Bonne Nouvelle, the Good News. She remembers that Joel continued to visit her with bananas and peanuts to eat.
Haiti’s winter months brought dampness and disease to the plateau and the Adiis family quickly lost a toddler daughter to whooping cough. When another young child, 5 year old Michou contracted the fatal disease, the father carried her to a missionary doctor in nearby Pignon. He told them, “You waited too long; there is nothing I can do.”
The voodooists parents lived near the Francois orphanage; they had heard the zealous white man Joel preach. As their five-year old, Michou, weakened with the same sunken eyed, fever that killed her sister, they sent for the young missionary.
“They want you to come and pray for the child,” the messenger said. Joel followed the man to the Addis’ hut. There he saw a forlorn, almond eyed, child dripping in sweat; her head draped with a towel.
Joel sensed God’s power and presence as he placed his hand on the girl’s frail chest and prayed, “God have mercy on this child; heal her from this disease. Do not let her die.”
The next day the entire family – mother, father and three children – trekked to the shack where Joel lived. The grinning father held Michou, minus the towel. “Michou is healed! We came to give our lives to God for healing our child.”
Joel clasped their hands and prayed with the family as they denounced witchcraft and rebellion against God. Later that day the symbols of voodoo faith, a deck of cards, some ragged sacks and powders were set ablaze in front of their hut, a testimony to the community of their new found faith in Jesus Christ.
Later Michou’s father became an elder in the local church and served God faithfully and gratefully the rest of his days.
In Saint Raphael, where Michou was healed, a vicious Tonton Macoute, Adibal, ruled the region for Duvalier, insuring no popular protest ignited there. When a cream-colored Jeep Waggoner appeared in front of the town’s only store owned by the strongman, Haitians told Joel, “Papa Doc gave him that jeep. He controls the zone for the President.”
Years later, after Duvalier fled and Adibal died, his widow came to our home in Port au Prince.
She asked Joel, “Please pray with me to receive Jesus Christ.”
Joel explained repentance and faith in Christ atoning blood, then he held Madame Adibal’s hands and prayed. Months after the visit, Madame Adibal passed to meet her Saviour.