Author: Pastor Jerry Park
Unfortunately, the world news on Haiti has been very grim the past few months. The president was assassinated in July, a major earthquake hit the southwest region followed by major storms in August, and gangs have essentially taken over major parts of the country.
More than 2,200 people died in the earthquake, and more than 130,000 homes were destroyed or damaged. The Brooklyn Tabernacle was able to send some relief funds to Pastor Faldor, an associate of Sister Elsie’s who lives in the most affected area in Haiti. We were able to help 70 families with food and cooking oil. There are greater longer-term needs, such as helping 50 families to rebuild their houses, providing some livestock to families, and basic food and education costs. Please continue to pray for all the families that have suffered loss.
In Port-au-Prince (PAP), the biggest challenge for the people day to day is the fact that powerful gangs are increasingly taking over whole neighborhoods. Sister Elsie, one of the missionaries we support in Haiti, describes the situation in Port-au-Prince:
Having known Haiti when it was safe and beautiful, I can say that now it is as if we were living through a nightmare. I still can’t reconcile the two in my mind. It’s really sad to see what it has become.
The situation is degenerating day by day. The authorities seem to be totally absent, as bandits have taken control of the capital. This past Friday, I heard a prominent businessman say the government might as well turn the keys of the National Palace to “Barbecue” (the self-labeled leader of the bandits, who is a former police officer who used to sell barbecued chicken prior to joining the police force). I laughed at the remark at first, but then I thought to myself that he’s probably right. After all, it’s Barbecue who ordered the gas stations to reopen for business after a whole week of being shut down. He is the one who opens and shuts down any areas of the city and beyond when they want to create chaos and open fire on the main roads. Who’s behind him and supplies him with the sophisticated weapons in his possession remains a mystery. And why can’t the police force get a hold of him?
Kidnapping is back and escalating every day. The demanded ransoms are many millions of US dollars. They are now breaking into people’s homes, and it’s as if the whole population had been taken hostage. Just this past weekend, the owner of a supermarket in Delmas was murdered. For over a week, we couldn’t get gas. Our water supply in the cistern is very low. We called over a week ago and placed our order, and still they have not been able to deliver. The company told me that for weeks now they have not been able to access the area where they get their supply; and they have no idea how long that will last. Nothing seems to work here, which makes life harder than it normally is. The entire city is in the dark, and those who can afford the cost buy solar panels for their homes. We have not had city power in over a year, but they were still billing us. I finally asked the Electricity Company to close our account with them; nevertheless, I still had to pay the equivalent of US$785.00 in October 2020 and the equivalent of US 122.22 in May 2021, which they claimed we owed even though we did not have city power. That’s Haiti.
We will not stop praying, however, because we know that through prayer God can intervene and remove the widespread corruption in the country. We now rely exclusively on our generator, the solar panels, and the inverter. Thankfully, we have a sunny sky most of the days, so our solar panels are always charged.
Please pray for Haiti — for the families that have lost loved ones and homes, for protection over our ministries, for a real functioning government, and for law and order to return.