Reverend recalls experience during Haiti earthquake

It was one year ago that a Dillon County pastor made it out of earthquake-ravaged Haiti. He arrived in the country for a Christian mission-trip the very day the earthquake hit.

He talked with NewsChannel 15 about how the disaster has renewed his faith.

"I have never witnessed this in all my life." said Reverend Larry Williams. He tells NewsChannel 15 he often has flashbacks of his three-day stay in Haiti last January when disaster struck. "There was people running in the streets. We was like, 'why are these people running in the streets.' A lady speaking in Creole ran up to our vehicle saying, 'Jesus, Jesus, there's been a massive earthquake in Port-au-Prince," Rev. Williams said.

The 7.0 earthquake hit January 12, 2010, the very day Reverend Williams arrived.

Williams was on his yearly mission trip and scheduled to speak at a church.

"I needed to find out about the people I'd been preaching to. I needed to find out about the Bishop that was there and his church family and I wasn't about to leave until I found if they were ok," Rev. Williams said.

He went to Port-Au-Prince to check on them. He found they were ok, but the city was destroyed and still experiencing dangerous aftershocks. "The earth actually moved under our feet and I near witnessed nothing like that in all my life, like we was on water," Rev. Williams said.

Reverend Williams says after three days, he finally got a ride to the Dominican Republic so he could fly to Miami.

He says that ride was a quite a journey with constant border patrol stops and a even bribery by officers of the law.

"We went through turmoil. We had to get out of the vehicle to show our ID and it went from one thing to the next thing. They wanted us to give them money."

After eight hours, he made it to Miami and on the plane he penned lyrics. "I heard the lyrics Haiti, Haiti help is on the way."

Reverend Williams says his stay in Haiti inspired him to show more compassion and love for those in need.

Reverend Williams plans to visit the same church in Haiti for another mission trip next month.