History of Lahai Roi
To truly understand the history of the Haitian Foundation Lahai-Roi, you must first understand its founder and leader, Pastor Dortul Sidor. God’s sovereignty is evident in the life of Dortul Sidor and the progression of the Lahai-Roi Foundation.
Like many Haitians, Dortul was born into crippling poverty. He lived near the city of Saint Marc with his parents and seven siblings until age five when his father abandoned the family. His mother was a faithful servant of God and she persevered through the hardship. She ensured that her children were raised in a Christian home and also managed to help Dortul obtain a degree in education. In 1982, he
moved to the United States in search of a better life and a way to help his family break the cycle of poverty.
At the invitation of a missionary who he had met in Haiti, Dortul and his wife Lillian briefly lived in Iowa before spending the next 18 years in New Jersey. Here, he had various jobs including a warehouse manager and a realtor before he began working full time in broadcasting. While in New Jersey, he began teaching himself English and he attended seminary. He ran a Christian radio station which was dedicated to broadcasting to a large Haitian population in the northeast. His radio presence grew, and eventually, the station could be heard along the entire east coast.
While Dortul lived in the United States, his heart was still in Haiti. In 1991, his oldest brother Theogene and his mother received an invitation from a friend to travel to the rural village of Piatre in the central mountains of Haiti. The area was still recovering from a tragic incident known as the “massacre de Piatre” where several people were killed over a land dispute just a year earlier. After leading an evangelism service and seeing the widespread devastation in the area, Theogene and his mother called Dortul and asked for help to feed the people of Piatre. In addition to sending money for food, Dortul and Lillian also sent money to help buy a piece of land to construct a church. This was the foundation of the Lahai-Roi ministry.
While growing the church in Piatre, Theogene met a man named Clervius Germain who led a group of believers in the remote village of Duclos a few miles away. This village is about a two hour hike from Piatre and is only accessible by foot. Theogene helped the group build the first church in Duclos and began overseeing that congregation as well.
In 2000, challenging economic conditions forced Dortul out of the broadcasting business. By faith, he and Lillian, with their four children, moved to Atlanta, Georgia not knowing what God had in store for the next season of life. Dortul worked several jobs and enrolled at Kennesaw State University. He earned a bachelor’s degree and eventually started his own commercial cleaning business. While still living in the United States, Dortul and Lillian continued to send money regularly and visit Piatre a few times a year for revival services. They also started the first school ever in Piatre.
In 2010, Dortul’s life changed completely. His brother Theogene died suddenly of a heart attack. While back in Haiti for the funeral, Dortul could see the pain on the faces of the church members. He could sense the desperation of a flock without a shepherd. During that same trip, he hosted an evangelism service on a small piece of land in the town of Montrouis that he purchased in 1982 before moving to the U.S. God’s presence could be felt during the crusade, and many people came to know Christ. People in the community requested that Dortul plant a church there on the vacant parcel of land. Little did he know, he would be planting a church on that land in the very near future.
On his trip back to Georgia, Dortul felt the Lord calling him back to Haiti for full-time ministry while waiting on a connecting flight in the Miami Airport. In December 2011, he left his children, grandchildren, business, and comfortable American life behind. God had been preparing him for this moment for 20 years. God finally called him back home.
Since returning to Haiti in 2011, Pastor Sidor has faithfully led three vibrant churches in Montrouis, Piatre, and Duclos where the Gospel of Jesus Christ is preached faithfully. These churches have become a means of serving the surrounding community and caring for the elderly, disabled, and poor while combating the spiritual darkness that is vodou. He has also led the Lahai-Roi School in Piatre which
started with 65 children and now has an enrollment of over 225. As more people and churches in the U.S. have partnered Pastor Sidor, the ministry has expanded to include a micro-credit loan program, community development projects such as the construction of a water reservoir in the remote village of Duclos, and mercy ministry to the most vulnerable citizens of the community. The ministry has helped
build homes for widows, rebuild the church in Duclos after the destruction of Hurricane Matthew, and expand the school to include adult English classes. The story of the Lahai-Roi ministry is one of faith and courage, with God’s love and sovereignty on display for all to see. He has provided every step of the way, and we are excited to see what He has in store for the future!