We are scheduled to fly to Naples FL Wednesday the 20th for a team meeting. Right now, things are going crazy in Haiti and our plans are in turmoil. Right now, we are planning to go to Naples, but NOT to Haiti.

A trusted associate (Bev) identifies her source as a pastor with wide-ranging contacts in Haiti and an excellent reputation for wisdom and knowledge. He says that all expats should cancel plans of going to Haiti “indefinitely”. Personal safety is one issue; the other is the drain on local resources.

The US State Department also urges US folks to stay away, and is sending non-essential folks under 18 off the island. The US Embassy has been stoned in the last couple of days. (Admittedly rather ineffective, but certainly demonstrative.)

The years of taking foreign aid loans, buying oil on credit and living with graft as a norm are finally all coming to a head. 

When Clinton and Bush raised funds for relief, they raised over $3 billion. Virtually none of it went to the people. Venezuela has loaned Haiti $1.5 billion in gasoline and again none went to the people – except they inherit the debt! I heard on the news that one oil distributor has THREE FILLED OIL TANKERS – ocean-going vessels – tied up offshore near the docks in Port au Prince, but they will not off-load the oil until they are paid; they want payment for PAST deliveries as well as for the current three tankers.

The people are out of fuel on the island. (Well, many Haitians do not believe this. They think the gas stations are hoarding fuel. So they are burning the gas stations, Ago says.)

They are out of cash in many places – including La Gonave. OneDoor sent Ago $$ to use to set up the graduation; he had to go to the mainland to get the cash on Friday because there is not enough cash money on La Gonave.

The goude has been so devalued that most people demand payment in US dollars – including the company that has three tankers sitting at anchor in the bay!

When Ago was on the mainland, he rented a motorscooter to drive to the village to get the money from Western Union. His was the only vehicle on the road.

They are almost out of food in Haiti. Many of the poor have been out for several days. Ago said he went to the market on La Gonave and found a little bit of rice available; what had been $10 worth of rice was now $30.

Karen corresponds on FaceBook with several friends. They have been sheltering in place for over a week. We remember the trouble we had getting out a few years ago! It makes no sense to fly into such desperate circumstances. 

We are monitoring the situation as best we can, comparing notes with Frankie and Terrym, ministry partners. We have a conference call scheduled with them for tonight.

I talked with Ago this morning. He sounds tired and troubled. He and his family are doing well, under the circumstance. For the moment. He and Doudeline have usually bought food for the month; they make bulk purchases so they can afford to feed the kids in the orphanage. That food just ran out yesterday. Now they are eating some freeze-dried meals sent down a while ago by Frankie. As I said, there really is no food left to buy on La Gonave.

Where will this go, friends? I fear we will watch Haiti descend into anarchy as people riot over food supplies and struggle to survive without petrol.

I find myself mourning, sad, troubled. Then I think of what it would be like to LIVE there as an impoverished parent.

I know God is sovereign, but boy am I mad at Adam and Eve! And myself, Steve! Sin be gone from me!

Somehow, I still want to say “Peace be with you” but the words come with great difficulty today.