Haiti Update – March 2019
Jesus promises us: “In this world, you will have trouble, but I have overcome the world.” You may or may not be aware that Haiti has undergone some very difficult days in the last month or so. We made several updates on our Facebook page, though you may not have seen much about Haiti on your main U.S. news sources.
On Feb 7th, the people of Haiti held several peaceful marches to protest different social and political issues. For the following 9 days, the protests continued with increased vigor as the people grew even more frustrated at the government. At first, it was much like the protests and unrest that happened last July which lasted a few days before things returned to “normal.” It’s a complicated situation with no easy answers, but three key issues are:
- Drastic inflation – The Haitian Gourdes to US Dollars exchange has gone from bad (60-1) to worse (85-1) in a short time and continues to rise. People can’t afford to buy life basics like food for their children. Times are desperate.
- PetroCaribe loan – Nearly 10 years ago, many countries in the Caribbean received huge loans. Most other countries used the money to create major infrastructure projects. Haiti has nothing to show for it, can’t account for it, and it appears the money has been wasted or stolen. People want answers.
- Government fuel subsidies – Haiti has been buying tankers and selling them at a loss for many years. They can’t afford to keep doing it, and everyone — from individuals to power companies — depends on fuel to survive.
After the 9 days, the opposition and the people came to a new peace and calm after messages from the Prime Minister and President. During this entire time, Peredo remained our peaceful place as our campus was very insulated from what was happening. RoRo and Eline were in Haiti during the entire time, giving us daily updates. Marcus and his family came out to the US for a short time to take care of some things stateside since regular activities like construction projects and school in Peredo came to a halt.
Things have now returned to a new normal. Our schools were out of session for three weeks, and they are now back to class as usual. Businesses have reopened, selling goods and providing services. HCO teams resumed to Peredo on March 2, and ministry projects have started again. We are so grateful because there is much to be done to keep sharing the Gospel, educating children, providing health care, and continuing community development projects. The needs remain great, and teams do so much to move projects forward and to encourage the community and our staff.
Please join us in praying for continual peace and wise resolutions to these issues. Pray for solutions that will meet the needs of the people and the country we all love so much. One ongoing concern for all Haitians and for our ministry is the continued rise in inflation. Food, supplies, and everything costs much more. Please pray with us for God to continue to meet needs and stretch ministry dollars!