Below are several books and articles that can help you prepare for your time in Haiti.
When Helping Hurts – How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor...and Yourself, by Corbett & Fikkert. This book provides biblical foundational concepts about poverty (Who are the poor?), principles (Should we do relief, rehabilitation, or development?), and strategies (How can we help the poor domestically and internationally?). Anyone who is considering serving the poor (domestically or internationally) should read this book.
Orphan Justice: How to Care For Orphans Beyond Adoption, by Johnny Carr. A biblical look at how we can care for orphans and vulnerable children, beyond adoption.
Don’t Waste Your Life, by John Piper. This book reminds us that being a believer in Christ does not simply mean trying to live a life avoiding sin. Piper challenges us to live and die boasting in the cross of Christ and making the glory of God your singular passion.
If Jesus Were Mayor, by Bob Moffitt. A book about how local churches (especially in developing countries) can transform their communities and what scripture says about the church’s roles, and how God wants to use local churches for His work.
Revolution In World Missions, by KP Yohannan. The biography of Dr. K.P. Yohannan, the founder of Gospel for Asia, and how empowering local pastors to share The Gospel can be hugely effective.
Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis. This is the popular children’s author wartime broadcasts, that he later turned into a book. It provides believers and nonbelievers alike an opportunity to hear a powerful, rational case for the Christian faith.
Following Jesus Through the Eye of a Needle, by Kent Annan. Kent’s own story of moving to Haiti to live & serve among the people, the challenges he faced, and the lessons he learned while pursing Christ.
Haitian Creole Dictionary & Phrasebook, by Charmant Theo- dore. A handy pocket size English to Creole and Creole to English Dictionary with short lessons on basic sentence structure, pronun- ciation, and the most commonly used words, phrases, and questions.
Restavec – From Haitian Slave Child to Middle-Class American, by Jean-Robert Cadet. This is Jean-Robert’s autobiography about his life growing up as a restevac, and eventually coming to the United States.
Travesty in Haiti – A True Account of Christian Missions, Orphan- ages, Food Aid, Fraud and Drug Trafficking, by Timothy Schwartz, Ph.D. A social anthropologist’s autobiography of his time working with large foreign aid agencies in Haiti and his personal experience in discovering that some of the organizations claiming to help were actually plauged with corruption, apathy, and political agendas.
The Big Truck That Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster by Jonathan M. Katz. On January 12, 2010, the deadliest earthquake in the history of the Western Hemisphere struck the nation least prepared to handle one. Jonathan M. Katz, the only full-time American news correspondent in Haiti, was inside his house when it buckled along with hundreds of thousands of others. In this visceral first-hand account, Katz takes readers inside the terror of that day, the devastation visited on ordinary Haitians, and through the monumental--yet misbegotten--rescue effort that followed.
Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracey Kidder. A biography of Dr. Paul Farmer, founder of Partners in Health. An easy to read and entertaining biography on Dr. Farmer, and provides a quick background to those new to Haiti.
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond. An interesting comparison between Haiti and the Dominican Republic (the Eastern 2/3 of the island of Hispaniola).
Haiti: The Tumultuous History, From the Pearl of the Caribbean to Broken Nation by Phillipe Girard. Excellent overview of Haitian history.
Why the Cocks Fight: Dominicans, Haitians, and the Struggle for Hispaniola by Michele Wucker. Offers insight into the complex and controversial relationship between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.