Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

January 17, 2012

Ruthless Dictator

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

“He was a ruthless dictator!”  That was the reaction of the young nurse at the hospital.

As we talked, she learned that I had spent time in her native Haiti.  When she asked me about some of my adventures, she was amazed that I had survived.  She talked about the persecution her mother faced when she openly acknowledged she was a Christian.

She was both fascinated and shocked that I had not met with more opposition.  I did confess to her there were questions as to whether I should be there.  Those were the days when Haiti was ruled by the dictator, Jean-Claude Duvalier. He succeeded his father in ruling the country.  He was known as “Baby Doc.”  During his rule, he was ruthless.  Hundreds of thousands of Haitian were killed — many fled the country.  And during these terrible days, I found myself seeking to go into the mountains of Haiti.

With my companion, we spent almost two days in Port-au-Prince, waiting for Baby Doc to approve our trip.  No one was allowed to leave the city without proper papers being signed.  Guards were at the roads leaving the city and required documentation.  The papers we had to sign gave agreement that if we disappeared, the government was not responsible and would do nothing to help locate us.

We witnessed Baby Doc’s exploitation of the people.  He lived in a large palace — drove recklessly through the city –and even blew his horn as to laugh when he saw us on the street.  He raped Haiti of its economy while he lived in luxury.  Poverty was the worst in all the countries of the Americas.

Once outside the city, there was little opposition from his regime, but the threat from witch doctors and their followers became the next force to deal with.  At night as we would camp, the voodoo drums and chants would continue through the night in hopes that we would be scared.

During the days when we would see groups of people, they desired to touch our skin as most had never seen a white person.  Most witch doctors refused to meet with us.  They were incensed that we would come into their territory.  However, those Haitians who sought some authority in their life other that voodoo, welcomed us and opened that hearts to us.

The young nurse had come to the United States after Baby Doc had gone into exile.  She only knew the terrible stories that her mother had told.  She loved her country, but feared to live there even after new leadership.  She wanted to talk more, but time did not allow because of her responsibilities, and she had completed her test on me.  Through the faith of her mother, she was a Christian.  She was radiant and joyful for her salvation and freedom.  But she was still puzzled on the freedom I had when I was in Haiti.

She inquired about how I could explain that we were able to go into those virgin areas of Haiti. I responded that God has promised that when He sends us, He is with us!  He has promised!

“And surely I will be with you always, to the very end of the age.”  (Matthew 28:20)


P.S. If you have not read one of my other blogs on Haiti, check this one:



  1. Even until the end of times! Love that!

    Comment by doriswhite — January 18, 2012 @ 7:25 pm | Reply

  2. As I read this blog again, I’m thinking “This is the reason that I don’t fear when I hear the politicians, the news with all the horror stories, the talk of our economy”. Our trust and faith must come from God, not politicians, all the stories are exaggerated truths, but My God is in control of everything, everywhere. My God feeds the sparrows, he surely will take care of my family and me. Our greatest fear should be that those who don’t know the Lord will be caught in the times of horror and be lost before they find the Lord! (before we show them the Lord)

    Thank you for your blogs. They stimulate my thoughts of the Lord and ways that he uses circumstances to give us opportunities to witness to others.

    Comment by doriswhite — February 12, 2012 @ 4:15 pm | Reply

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