I won't be sharing too many pictures today. Reports from our Haiti campuses are very slow coming. Although MOHI has made a great effort to be independent of the grid, depending primarily on solar power, there are circumstances that leave us without it. Cloudy days are unusual, but when a hurricane (Fiona, for example!) is in the area, the sun can be in hiding for days. This leaves us without the ability to use computers or charge cell phones on which we depend for communicating between Haiti, the US, and the Dominican Republic. The lack of fuel in the country has even been affecting internet providers' ability to maintain consistent services. All of this impacted us this week.
Lex is tuned into various Haitian news sources and he updates me regularly about the country, as a whole. I also get some updates from other missionaries on the ground from time to time. Unfortunately, the good news is hard to come by. Roads are blocked throughout the country. Major institutions are being torched. Huge food warehouses are being looted. Protests often turn violent. Police shoot into crowds injuring and sometimes killing the protesters dead.
Yet, people are still taking to the streets in protest. The national chauffeur's union has called for a three-day strike Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday - meaning no one should be driving on the roads (if there are any clear to drive on in the first place). Thursday and Friday others are calling for nationwide protests.
It's one thing to look at nations, strategize, determine who is to blame for the problems, and share our opinion on how to fix them. It's quite another to put yourself in the place of the real people who are actually living the nightmare. How desperate would I have to be to willingly join a protest, knowing full well it could turn violent? How desperate would I have to be to leave my family behind, climb into a boat so crowded that I can't adjust my position when I start to cramp, knowing there's a very real chance that I won't make it to my destination? How desperate would I have to be to join the crowd carrying off sacks of rice when I've spent decades refusing to take what isn't mine? How desperate is the situation in Haiti? The inconsolable cries of a hungry child - YOUR hungry child, can drive a person to do most anything.
I watched a news clip of three major food warehouses being looted. Now, understand, we just packed a 40' container and I could hardly believe how much we fit into it. I estimate these warehouses could fit at least 25 containers in each. One of the looters spoke out saying, "Our families are starving and they are here sitting on all this food! Why haven't they shared it?!!!"
The sparse reports I have received from the MOHI leaders in Haiti are that Grand-Goâve has remained relatively calm, compared to the neighboring cities. The farmers growing crops in the mountains come down into our city on cow paths and dirt roads, carrying their produce on their heads and on the backs of donkeys, horses, and mules. The locals who still have money left buy what they can. Life, however, is on hold. People with jobs are not able to get to them. People who depend on family in other countries are often not able to actually receive the funds they are transferring to them because many banks and transfer locations (like Western Union offices) have been destroyed. Here is what most main roads in Haiti looked like this past week.
A friend from neighboring Petit-Goâve expressed grave concern for his community. Trucks that transport drinking water to his city have not been able to get past the barricades for quite some time now and the local supply is now gone. People have been boiling water (which costs money to do) in order to drink it, but resources are failing. I have heard similar reports from other cities, including the capital city of Port-au-Prince, as well. What little weak and broken infrastructure Haiti has had, seems to be collapsing.
Through it all, the churches at MOHI continue to meet in homes and in the chapel regularly for worship, prayer, teaching, and fellowship. Circumstances are difficult, but faith in God brings them through.
I received a new picture of Marie Rose and some of her family. Those triplets are growing up!
The clinics are working at a reduced capacity, but they are still open. Dr. Evens did some telemedicine from his home in Petit-Goâve.
The babies continue to be fed.
According to Haiti's ministry of education, schools are to open on Monday. I'm wondering if that's possible. The Lord knows. I find this quote from Charles Spurgeon to be very insightful and encouraging...
The Source of our hope is Jesus. Lord, in our weakness, may your power show forth.
Please continue knocking on heaven's door with us. Let's continue to ask for mercy and peace on behalf of our friends in Haiti. Lord, please show us what else to do!!!