Title: Expect the Unexpected: Experience Haiti with Grandpa Harold
Author: E. Harold Herr
Major Themes: Haiti, Missionaries, Spiritual Warfare
Synopsis: A series of articles written by Harold Herr tell the story of his 15 years of involvement in Haiti.
Haiti. What do you think of when you think of Haiti? Black-skinned people living in poverty and spiritual darkness? Bare hillsides, stripped of their trees to make charcoal? That’s my mental picture of the country. Harold Herr describes a lot of that in Expect the Unexpected, but he also shows a different side of the story.
From his first trip to Haiti in 1995, Harold fell in love with that country. Within about two years, he found himself living there in a small kay, or house, on a mountainside. His heart rejoiced for the people who found victory in Christ, and ached for those who could not break free from the devil’s grasp. Constantly surrounded by voodoo worshippers, he had to constantly engage in intense spiritual warfare.
Harold tells his story through a series of articles he wrote to send to people in America, so many are written present-tense. This makes the story more interesting as he tells about the ups and downs of the various people he describes—Bruce, who served God, then turned away because of hidden sin in his heart that he didn’t want to reveal; Madame Moyiz, the leader of voodoo worship who wanted to be free but couldn’t get away from the power of the spirits; and many others.
This is not a book for children. Many descriptions of voodoo worship and demonic activity are given. Much of life in Haiti is not pretty, with so many of its people being caught in the devil’s grip. At the same time, there are stories of victory, as people break free from the devil and turn wholeheartedly to God.
Harold also describes some of the beauties of Haiti, as he travels around through the mountains. Waterfalls and rocks make beautiful, peaceful places to relax. Other times, God protects him during hurricanes, and even the earthquake that devastated Haiti in 2010. There are many facets to this book; if you’ve ever been interested in Haiti, you will enjoy reading it.
WARNING: See fourth paragraph of review.
Reading Independently—Ages 15 and Above, Adults