In the Dark
It has been 3 weeks our students had any classes at our main school, as Haiti has been in an almost constant state of protesting and rioting, accompanied by looting, roads being barricaded, gang activity, continued fuel crisis, food shortages (inaccessibility), closed businesses, etc...
This week a neighboring village had a utility pole chopped down and used to block the road. This cut off our internet access on our Grand-Goave campuses. Consequently, we've had very little communication coming to us from Grand-Goave.
Here are a couple of pictures that were shared with us from another American in our area this week:
In case you can't tell what you're looking at, that is one of the few main highways in the country - Route 2, on which our main campus is located. The road was blocked and traffic backed up. No vehicles from the southern peninsula are able to pass when this road is blocked.
This is happening throughout the country. Here is a video from last Sunday's protest in the capital city, Port-au-Prince:
This is a very complicated, political situation. The government and the opposition are at a stand off. The solution is hidden at this point and so we continue in prayer, trusting the Lord for understanding, wisdom, humility, and courage for those in authority. Please join us in asking the Lord for peace for the people of Haiti, including our students and their families.
The medical and dental clinics have been able to function on and off this month - more on than off, thanks to the persistent determination of the staff members.
Fuel has become available at times - it's really hit or miss - we don't know when we will or will not find fuel. Normally priced at about $2.50 per gallon, gasoline sells on the black market for $12-$15 per "partial" gallon. We depend on fuel to bring electricity to our campuses, enabling the clinics to operate, for pumping water for drinking, toilets, and cooking, for the radio station to function, and for communications.
We put out a call last week, requesting help in purchasing rice (to go with the beans that we already have on hand) to begin what we call dry feedings - bringing the raw ingredients to our neighbors so that they have something to eat while they are staying close to home for safety's sake. We've received donations adequate to purchase 13 sacks of rice so far. If you would like to be a part of this relief effort, please send a donation of $45 for each sack of rice you'd like to purchase for distribution in Grand-Goave.
We visited Clifton Lutheran Church this morning to update them on what's been happening at MOHI. Despite the current unrest, we have seen so much positive impact over the years in education, job creation, job training, medical and dental care, spiritual growth, and so much more. As Pastor James Bixby relayed in his sermon this morning, it's time to be persistent and press forward!
This was the only picture any of us took this morning (thank you Pastor Lex!) - I was updating the children in Sunday School. Pastor Lex, Alexis, and Alain presented to the congregation, too.
November 2nd we will return to Clifton Lutheran Church to be a part of their annual fund raising event to benefit MOHI. We are looking forward to an evening of fun, highlighted with Haitian music and cuisine. If you are in the area (Marblehead, MA) please come be a part of this special evening that they work so hard on putting together.
I titled this post "In the Dark" because communications were cut off between us and our Haiti staff this week, but also because I just don't see a solution for Haiti. However, you and I both know that God has not abandoned the people of Haiti. I love this verse from Psalm 139:12
When we feel like we are in the darkness, all it takes is the Light of the world walking in. There is no darkness in Him and darkness cannot overcome the light. Today, I invite Jesus to join us in the darkness I am seeing in Haiti and I trust He, the Light, will eliminate the darkness in our own vision, bringing clear sight and guidance for Haiti. Will you join me?