Even though the US media choose to ignore the humanitarian crisis in Haiti, the situation there is desperate, verging on anarchy. The background for their crisis can be explained in a few words – graft, theft, embezzlement, corruption, greed and generally evil power brokers. But the consequences – they are personal and almost defy belief.
(photo credit: Haiti Libre)
And we pray the words of King David for them, recorded in Psalm 57 ….
1 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by.
The people survive by grace and perseverance. God is merciful, but the political forces are not. My information for this article comes primarily from our Haitian partner, Pastor Agones, and from some FB groups to which Karen belongs. For video verification, look at this shocking and saddening report on youtube:(Live link)
While La Gonave is peaceful, the people there suffer like the rest of the country. Most of Haiti is without food. On the big island, even the expat-focused groceries in Port au Prince have empty shelves. Gas stations from Les Cayes to Jacmel to Cape Haitien have been closed, looted and torched. Gang violence goes unchecked. Roads are often blocked by what are called “manifestations”, where folks block the road with burning tires and boulders. Gangs of youths loot and burn.
The oligarchy, which is rumored to be some 10 to 20 families, has no compassion for the people and no concern for fixing the problems; they only want to profit.
That probably sounds melodramatic, doesn’t it? But I have not overstated the problem. Many people are close to starving. Market stalls are empty. The supply ferries are not running.
Meanwhile, Haiti cannot afford to pay its debt for past gasoline deliveries, and suppliers will not deliver more gas until the debts are paid. But all of the previously delivered gasoline and diesel has been sold. Where did the money go? Rumors abound, most focused on the current political regime.
Even on peaceful La Gonave, people are becoming desperate. One of our graduates, Pastor Emil, was overwhelmed by the pressure; he had a stroke, could not get to treatment in time, and now is paralyzed. Ago said that Emil’s wife has left him, abandoning to him their 7 children. His sister has moved in with him. Because Emil cannot move his arms or his legs, someone has to care for Emil and the children.
Emil’s story is a parable about life in Haiti right now. He was a joyful student, and was always in class. He was a successful pastor of a growing rural church. He has been learning the Gospel of Grace, and lived with a smile on his face. Now, the vile corruption has stripped him of independence and health. Without fuel, he could not get to the clinic. But then, without fuel, the clinic had no lights and no way to sterilize instruments. On La Gonave where there has been no violence, hospital staff still comes to work, but on the mainland, where walking is dangerous, staff stay home because of gang violence.
The country has been crippled by those who stole the national treasures of fuel and funds. And even in this time of increasing violence, there is no civil authority to control the situation or the people.
The markets have no food to sell. The people have no way to boil water for safe drinking. The banks are closed. The ATMs are closed. The Western Union and MoneyGram offices are closed. It is almost impossible to get money to Haiti for the people – and there is nothing to buy even if the money could get in right now.
The country is as close to a living hell as I have encountered in my 35 years of international ministry. Check youtube for “news of Haiti today”. (Watch the dates; some of the videos are only a day or two old, but others are two or three weeks old – and some have aged for months.)
Please pray for Haiti and the Haitian people. We can do nothing now but pray and prepare.
OneDoor plans to focus resources on relief efforts, as soon as we have a way to get money to La Gonave.
2 I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me. 3 He will send from heaven and save me; he will put to shame him who tramples on me. Selah God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness!
When the banks open, it will be important for us to respond quickly. We will gladly receive, now, any funds you wish to send for relief. We will hold those funds until the banks open and wire transfers are again possible. Please give now so you don’t forget.
The Haitian people need God’s redeeming and restoring hand. Your prayers will help. We will hold your relief funds until we can get the money to La Gonave safely. The easiest way is by PayPal, sending your funds to firstname.lastname@example.org. Annotate “relief” if that is your intent.
Thanks. Thanks from OneDoor.ws and thanks from the people on La Gonave.
May we all together be instruments of God’s peace and blessing in these broken times.
Steve Jameson, Pastor