Haiti: SWU faculty member assists in physical, spiritual healing
Dr. Derrick Lemons, an adjunct religion faculty member at Southern Wesleyan University in North Augusta, traveled to Haiti March 6-14 to help heal the physical and emotional scars of Haitians devastated by the Jan. 12 earthquake.
Lemons was among a group sponsored by Oconee River Methodist Church and several Sunday school classes from Kannapolis First Wesleyan Church, in partnership with World Hope International. While there, Lemons assisted in the rebuilding of a Haitian church, worked with doctors at a medical clinic and also spoke at local church services.
According to Lemons, many Haitians are clinging to any hope they can find. Lemons noted the pervasive influence of the Voodoo religion before the earthquake. He believes that Haitians are questioning whether the earthquake was a result of their dependence on Voodoo.
“Although anti-Voodoo movements crop up from time to time in Haiti, these movements usually come from church or governmental officials and not the citizens,” Lemons said. “It is too early to know the impact of this movement, but it is definitely an area of research to follow.”
Lemons said he was struck by the amount of work which needs to take place to rebuild Haiti.
“In the best of circumstances, Haiti will take years to rebuild,” he said. “Americans are blessed with many skills and financial resources which can aid in this rebuilding. Americans should not allow this tragedy to drop from our radar.”