Sunday marks the anniversary of an earthquake that devastated Haiti, and one local pastor took a look back on that traumatic day. As the country continues to rebuild, Time Warner Cable News reporter Alexandra Weishaupt shares with us his experience just four years ago.
MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. -- “By 5 o’clock when it happened the whole country got totally destroyed,” said First Haitian Church of God Senior Pastor Paul Degand LaPlante.
Music and prayer filled the First Haitian Church of God in Middletown where Pastor Paul Degand LaPlante remembered just what it was like to be in his native country when disaster struck.
“I had two houses, number one and number two, and they both collapsed with us,” said the pastor. “I had 16 people with me, thank God they came out alive. We treated a lot of people, but we saw about 300 people being killed. Four days after the Americans came and picked me up.”
The missionaries left behind a ravaged country and a community in need of care.
But recently, the pastor returned to Haiti to complete his missionary work and said while he was amazed at the progress in rebuilding efforts, he was not at all surprised by the resiliency of the Haitian community.
“The Haitians they pulled together as always, after earthquake, after tide fronts, after hurricanes after famine after any kind of disease, they pulled together and they started to rebuild their own country,” he said.
Those efforts are still very much ongoing as the pastor preached for more around the world to pitch in to help.
“Now's the time for the world to come and help us rebuilding the county, rebuilding the roads, schools, hospitals,” said the Pastor. “If we can give them something they will be able to help themselves without dreaming about coming here to the U.S.”