Again, our hearts are saddened by the disastrous situation in Haiti. This time it is a political and economical disaster.
Pastor Noelsaint Badette writes, “the inflation rate is going really high and consequently more people are hungry and need food. It is a reality that more people are begging for food and money.”
Jacqui Labrom, (the travel agent we have worked with) says it is AWFUL, and the worse she has seen the country in 20 years. She says it is madness and destruction all in the name of politics.
The people are fed up and don’t seem to be able to work out a peaceful change in power.
When we first started going to Haiti in 2012 the exchange RATE was 42 gourde for $1.00 US, now it is over 90 gourde to the dollar.
It was especially disturbing to read that PEACE CYCLE employees in PAP have stopped wearing their work t-shirts because they feel a sense of danger. It is because people would know have a job and think they have money.
The opposition parties are calling for the President to resign, but so far the President has not even spoken to the people or held any meetings. In addition, there is no money to pay for an election.
We do not have any teams in Haiti at this time. Bob Rossbach from Grosse Pointe UMC canceled their trip and Hearts for Haiti (Kentucky & Indiana) has postponed their trip. The decision not to go is heartbreaking, but it is clear that it is the best thing to do at this time. Putting team members and/or the Haitians working with us at risk is not a chance worth taking.
The people in Jeremie, Leon and other distance rural areas are even more at risk because food and other supplies are not being transported to their areas.
Our best response at this time is to be in daily prayer for our brothers and sisters in Haiti. We may also want to raise funds for Pastor Noelsaint and Pastor Claudel to provide relief to the most needy. We will discuss this at our meeting February 27th.
Jeremie Haiti Project
United Methodists have had a long standing relationship with Haiti through the Methodist Church of Haiti. The Detroit Conference of the United Methodist Church supports Haiti both financially and with volunteer mission teams in collaboration with the Michigan Area Haiti Task Force.
The Jeremie Haiti Project is focused on serving people of the city and its nearby surrounding area. Projects include varied construction in these areas, medical mission at the Gebeau Clinic, service and support at the schools in the area, and the Jeremie Good Samaritan Home.