This article had some good insight as to what is going on all around Haiti these days. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/20/world/americas/Haiti-crisis-violence.html
But for me, I wanted to focus a little more local.
We are in our sixth week of protests down here. I keep updating my family at home that we are safe, as that is the biggest concern I hear from friends and family abroad, but there is a bigger issue at play here now as well.
We are here to be a light in the darkness, and these days, the dark is literally more frequent than light. City power has been even more sparse than our typical schedule. Now, we are lucky to get 8 hours of city power per week. Solar keeps our lights on, but most people are not so lucky. We frequently have 20 people outside our gate charging cell phones at the station we put up.
Even those people who have generators are struggling. Fuel is scarce, and when it is available, you have to be ready to sit in lines for several hours, standing aggresively to not lose your place, just to get a few gallons.
But amidst the darkness, there is another, growing concern, the silence.
Our house is typically noisy with the sounds of the workshop as the generator powers grinders, welders, and many other tools all day long. Yet, the shop has been silent for most of the 6 weeks of protests.
With no power and limited fuel, no work can be completed. Then, no income comes in for our crew. Any savings they managed are long gone now, especially for our 3 men with small children.
So the silence signals a lack of work and income.
Our house is on the main road, so we normally awake each morning to the sound of trucks passing by, sometimes way too quickly, carrying produce from the rural mountain communities down into town for the market.
But the road, too, is silent most of the time.
And the silence once again screams the lack of income for the rural communities, and a lack of food supply for the cities.
Food prices are rising, but employment is extremely difficult to find. With all of these protests, lay-offs have even become common. Many jobs which are typically steady are unsustainable now. Our local cafe closed. Other restaurants and hotels have laid off staff to the point that they have a skeleton crew, and still they are losing money. Unemployment is spreading.
So, we must be praying for this country, and the prayers must start with “give each person here their daily bread”, because we need God to continue to support the individuals in this country when the government is failing so badly.
And then, on a practical note, I would also encourage you to give money, if possible, to whoever God would lead you to give it to.
The crazy part is that the lack of employment is not due to a lack of work needing done. Haiti is a land where everything takes more work. Dinner may take hours to prepare from scratch. Houses require hours of cleaning almost daily. Laundry can take a whole day for those that don’t have a washing machine.
And everyone down here has maintenance tasks and a “to do” list that is a few miles long.
Plus, with power issues being so rampant, some people are even in need things ranging from cell phone backup batteries, to even generators or even solar power if they get enough money.
So, my encouragement to any of you who have read this far is simple. Find an organization or person that is in Haiti, and send them some money with the charge to hire someone local to do something, or to purchase something local to support local business. Many people here, both ex-pats and Haitians have a pretty small budget to start with, so even we may be hesitant to spend in this broken economy, but we need to. For any of the businesses, farmers, laborers or tradesmen in this country to continue to feed their families, they need customers.
If you want to support your friends in Haiti, from any organizations, or individuals, this is big. Even if the individual you know if doing OK and is safe and possibly reasonably well taken care of, the mental stress of knowing that their friends in the community are struggling is huge as well.
And pray life crazy for this place, because life is getting harder each day, and there is not an easy fix in sight.