March & June 2019
Since our last newsletter, a lot of things have happened here in Haiti. Inflation has worsened dramatically with the Haitian Gourde losing 20% of its value in just six months! Because of this, living conditions for the average Haitian have gone from very bad to worse as Haitians have 20% less to spend on food and essential items. This is a desperate situation!
Last year, the Haitian government, which sets the price of fuel, announced an increase in the price of diesel and gasoline. News of fuel price increases sparked immediate demonstrations and the government backed down from raising prices. Now, the Haitian government is struggling to provide affordable gasoline and diesel because the petroleum products they are buying have gone up in price and the Gourde has 20% less purchasing power – a double whammy. This has led to major fuel shortages all across Haiti because the Haitian government doesn't have money to buy the fuel needed to supply the nation. Gas stations have been without gasoline and diesel for up to two weeks at a time.
Haiti has never had enough electric generating capacity to supply electricity to all of Port au Prince at one time and as a result, the power grid is divided into sections with each section getting electricity for a portion of the day. In the past, we received up to eight hours of electricity a day (on a good day). Because most of Haiti's electric power is generated by diesel engines the fuel shortage has resulted in sections of Haiti being without power for weeks at a time. Our area has been getting about two hours of electricity per week. Fortunately, we installed solar panels here and they are working well.
Due to the instability in the economy, an opposition group sprang up and they are calling for President Jovenel Moise to resign. The opposition has organized “manifestations” or demonstrations designed to shut down the country. These anti-government demonstrations got going on November 18 and when demonstrations break out the police stay home and thugs take over. While we were stateside for Thanksgiving, I got a call on November 20th from our main man Jude and he advised me that a gang of thugs came to the mission headquarters demanding protection money. The thugs told Jude if he didn't have the money by Friday the 23rd they would loot and burn our mission properties. I immediately booked a flight back to Haiti and we all began praying in earnest. Since I returned to the mission in November we have not heard anymore from the gang, Praise the Lord!
The recent manifestations shut down all the main roads in Haiti and stores and schools were closed. Factories closed, stores were looted and burned. People visiting Haiti were terrorized and robbed and as a result, many of them went home and they probably won't ever return to Haiti. The U.S. State Department issued a level 4 warning – advising Americans not to travel to Haiti. Level 4 is the highest level warning and now Haiti is at the same warning level as Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, etc. The airlines that service Haiti have cancelled flights and the flights that are coming in to Haiti are not anywhere near full.
This is a very bad situation, if it weren't for mission teams, doctors and dentists volunteering their time and resources and people volunteering to help build housing for Haitians, etc., Haiti would be in much worse condition. Please pray for Haiti!
We had two meetings scheduled during the first quarter of 2019 and I'm pleased to report that even with all the problems in Haiti, we were able to have the meetings. The Seek Team from Neosho, Missouri held a kid's crusade and an evangelical meeting beginning February 8 and continuing through February 13. Most of Haiti was shut down during that time but it turned out to be a wonderful week for the people in our area. We were delighted that Davy was able to come with the Seek Team, we really miss Davy! Davy hadn't been to Haiti since July and everyone was happy to see him.
The second meeting was our annual Mardi Gras Crusade. With all the unrest in Haiti, most Mardi Gras celebrations were cancelled or scaled back dramatically. Brother Darrell Meadow and my Father in Law came down and our Mardi Gras Crusade was held as scheduled. Brother Meadow preached timely messages Sunday, March 3rd through Wednesday, March 6th. We enjoyed the great preaching and time of fellowship. A lot of people received the help they needed during prayer time at the altars.
For many years Alicia has been suffering with migraine headaches and they have become more frequent and more intense. Alicia saw a Doctor stateside that spent a lot of time over several days looking for the causes and trying to help her get relief. Alicia's blood pressure was very high, in fact it was near stroke causing levels. The Doctor prescribed blood pressure medication and a gluten free diet and that seems to be helping. Please keep Alicia in your prayers, she needs complete healing.
We are trying to purchase a piece of property next door to our Church. Given the location, we feel that this property could be used for additional classrooms or living facilities for our staff. The seller has been wanting to sell one day and then she cools down and increases the price the next day. Please pray that if it is the Lord's will for us to have this property, we will be able to complete the purchase.
Missions in Haiti is moving into a new phase and we would like for you to pray with us that God will give us wisdom and guidance. When Adline returns from Bible School in May, we will have five Bible School graduates working with us full time in the ministries here. We have jobs for them but providing decent, affordable housing is becoming a problem. We have outgrown the facilities here at the House of Compassion and we need to build additional housing. Please pray that God will give us direction as we move into this next phase at Missions in Haiti.
Please keep Haiti and Missions in Haiti in your daily prayers. We genuinely appreciate your prayers and the investment you have made in this work. We couldn't do this work without your financial support or your prayer support
Greetings from Haiti in the name of Jesus!
Please continue to pray for the work here in Haiti. As we mentioned in our last newsletter, the U.S. Department of State raised the travel advisory for Haiti to the highest level, level 4 Red, do not travel. Since that time the travel advisory has been lowered to level 3 Orange. The level 3 advisory states; reconsider travel to Haiti due to crime, civil unrest and kidnapping and as a result, many of the groups that come to Haiti to provide the vital services many Haitians depend on for survival have cancelled trips.
The graduation ceremony for our 26 High School graduates was scheduled for June 14, but the Haitian government ordered all schools to postpone activities until further notice due to the civil unrest and increasing gang activity. We hope to be able to have our end of school year activities by the end of July.
In our last newsletter I mentioned that Alicia was suffering from intense, debilitating migraine headaches. She saw a Doctor stateside in February with follow-up visits in May. I am happy to report that Alicia has not had a migraine headache during June and she is feeling much better. We believe that the Lord touched her and that she is on the road to a complete recovery – Praise the Lord! Thank you for your prayers for Alicia, please continue to remember her in your prayers.
As this work continues to expand and as the children who have grown up here in the House of Compassion complete their education, many of them have decided to stay and work with Missions in Haiti. While having these young people decide to stay and join our staff has been a great thing, it has led to overcrowding in our main home/dormitory so we decided to build a separate house for Alicia and I inside the mission compound. True friends of this work, the couple who generously donated steel buildings for our Church and schools, stepped up and provided the steel frame and roofing materials for the new home. These folks have been a tremendous blessing to Missions in Haiti and saying “thank you” seems so inadequate – but thank you so very much! We know that God will bless them for all that they have done for Him and his children here in Haiti!
We are currently working on the foundation for the new home and we have a team scheduled to come down in July to erect the frame and metal roof. When that is completed, we will build cinder block walls and work on finishing the 30’ X 40’ home. We need around $10,000.00 for windows, security bars, flooring, etc. Please pray with us that the needed funds will come in so that the home can be completed on schedule. We hope to move into our new home in February of 2020.
We were stateside during May to attend Adline’s graduation from Free Gospel Bible Institute. We are proud of Adline and the fine young lady she has become. We are delighted to have her back in Haiti, working with us here at Missions in Haiti! Adline will teach in our American ACE school next school year.
Three more of our Haitian kids, Manuschka, Yvaniel and Clarrisa, are in the process of getting student VISAs so that they can attend Full Gospel Bible Institute this fall. Please pray that the US Embassy will grant the necessary student VISAs.
Davy has been back here at the House of Compassion during the month of June after completing his first year at Ozark Bible Institute. It is apparent that God has done a great work in Davy’s life! Davy has been a tremendous help doing needed maintenance and getting the school properties ready for the next school year.
Thank you for your prayers, we need you prayer support now, more than ever. We couldn’t do what we do here in Haiti without the prayers and financial support of our many partners. May God richly bless you for the things you do for his children!