COVID-19 in Haiti
Currently there are 20 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country. Unfortunately, this is likely not a very accurate picture of the number of cases, but we certainly can hope against hope.
Should the virus actually spread throughout Haiti (which I am praying it will not!), it could be more catastrophic than the 2010 earthquake. Most of the healthcare system in Haiti is HORRIBLE - no care unless you pay up front (the majority of people in the country struggle just to put food on the table) - no supplies in most hospitals, so you need someone to go out and purchase them (with money they don't likely have) somewhere else and bring them back - there are no food or personal hygiene services provided in most hospitals, so you have to have people come and stay to care for you - many hospitals are extremely short staffed and recently medical personnel have abandoned ship in fear of contracting COVID-19 and dying. There are only a couple dozen ventilators in the entire country - in what state of repair, I don't know.
Social distancing is something we are all learning to practice here in the US. It's not easy and the effect on the economy is harsh. In Haiti, we are sharing the same guidelines that we have here in the US.
Hand washing... Oh, you don't have access to clean water? You don't have money to buy soap? Hmmmm.
Social distancing... Oh, you only have access to food and basic supplies at the open market which is shoulder to shoulder people 2 days a week? Hmmmm. Oh you have to take public transportation to go buy supplies in Port-au-Prince to resell locally and there are way more than 10 people on top of each other in the taptap? Hmmmm.
Stay at home... Oh, you're living in abject poverty and will starve if you don't try to sell the produce from your garden before it rots? Hmmmmm.
Follow the guidelines to stay well... Oh, you don't even BELIEVE that COVID-19 is in Haiti, because the government hasn't shown you adequate proof? Hmmmm. Oh, you think that one of the dozens of home remedies that have been suggested will keep you from contracting the illness? Hmmmm.
How do I advise people who live in such difficult circumstances every single day? Do you fight the enemy you've seen and known (hunger) or the one you can't see and have never experienced (COVID-19)? This is far from a straight forward situation to manage.
Please click on the donate button above to help us purchase rice and soap for those in need right now.
Happenings at MOHI
It's mango season in our area, so it's unlikely people will be starving this month. A lack of protein in children under the age of 5 is a serious health risk, however. We are so grateful for all of you who donated to our peanut butter drive in the Fall. This week we were getting jars of peanut butter into the hands of our preschoolers to give them a nutritional boost while schools are closed throughout the country.
The medical clinic remains open. Our staff has been taking extra precautions with disinfecting, wearing masks and gloves, hand washing, and using hand sanitizer. Our patients wash their hands with soap and water upon entering the yard and are seated with space between them to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
We are so grateful for our medical professionals who are persevering during a season of such great uncertainty. Please join us in supporting them in prayer!
We are so glad to stay connected with our church family at MOHI in Haiti during this season. While obeying the government's mandate to not have more than 10 people gathered together, we are still able to worship together online. You can see this morning's service by clicking on the picture below.
Surely this is a time of conflicting emotions for individuals throughout the world. It's a time of isolating, combined with a growing awareness of the need to reach out to others. It's also a time of being confronted with passionately differing opinions. I see it every day on my "global" social media platforms. Opinions can vary in a general way, based on things like nationality or age. But the subgroups seem to have no well defined boundaries.
Like never before, I find myself asking God to show me HIS perspective in various areas of my life. Mostly, I want to see everyone around me from HIS perspective. God really spoke to me recently through the story of the Prodigal son(s). Even in those times of wandering out on our own (whether for years or just a moment), we still remain the son/daughter of the Most High God. I recognize that I often fall short. I go through seasons on the mountain tops and seasons in the valleys - seasons of climbing and seasons of descending. Yet HE never leaves me. I don't suddenly, or even gradually, turn into a stranger, but I remain HIS daughter.
This perspective doesn't apply just to me, but it applies to my husband, my children, my church family, my work associates, the cashier at the grocery store, the unkempt man sitting at the bus stop, the republican, the socialist, the God-fearing, the God-hating, those who are kind to me, those who offend me... God's love is complete, unconditional, never ending... HIS intentions are good toward all people...
And this, too:
"Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?" - Romans 2:4 (NLT)
This is the perspective the Lord has been showing me lately. Today, my heart is full. I encourage you to join me in seeking God's perspective in each and every situation we face this week.
Thank you for seeing beyond your own difficulties to pray and support others who are also in need. Pastor Lex and I so appreciate your incredibly generous spirits.