In recent decades, amidst civil unrest and economic difficulties, many Haitian Latter-day Saints have left Haiti to seek opportunity elsewhere. In enclaves of Haitian Creole speakers in Canada, the Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, and the United States, Latter-day Saints have shared the gospel with their countrymen.
In 1995 Boston resident Dulia Odies was invited by her sister-in-law to attend church with a small group of Haitian Saints. “The feelings that I had when I attended sacrament meeting for the first time was different,” recalled Odies. “I felt something in my heart, and it felt good.” A year later, Odies was baptized. In 1998 the growing group was organized into a branch, which later became a ward. “The members in the Haitian ward embrace you,” Odies observed. “They make you feel special, and you feel love.”
Since the creation of the Boston Haitian Branch, additional units have been created in Florida; Montréal and Laval in Quebec, Canada; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; and Basse-Terre and Les Abymes in Guadeloupe. Despite their distance from their homeland, however, Haitian Saints across the globe rejoiced at the announcement of a temple in Port-au-Prince. “You cannot imagine how we felt,” said Odies. “We were all in tears.” The Port-au-Prince Haiti Temple was dedicated in 2019.