We knew it was coming, after all it’s almost everywhere else but hearing the news and knowing what that means for Haiti took my mind straight back to October 2010 when cholera first came to Haiti. Honestly I am not sure what to say about cholera except it was really awful. Haiti has gone from one crisis to another and actually is still not really out of the political crisis which has been going on over the past 18 months.
Emmaus closed on Friday morning sending all staff and students home not knowing when they would reopen again. With all the political unrest this year staying open has felt like a battle and now, 5 weeks before the end of the semester we had to close.
Bethesda will be closing all it's non essential services and putting other measures in place of how we can continue to treat patients and screen those for the virus. I will update you on that as I know more. The PT department is currently closed so I have not been to Bethesda.
As you know, Haiti does not have the level of healthcare or resources needed to cope with the coronavirus. The people of Haiti have been advised to stay home and keep good hand hygiene but even this is almost impossible. The vast majority of people do not having running water in their homes, no electricity for refrigeration to keep food fresh and not enough money to bulk buy. Most people will still need to go to the market on a daily basis. Social distancing is just simply impossible.
Once again we are asking you to pray. We know and understand that you are also facing this crisis wherever you are in the world and please know we are praying for you. We know Northern Ireland is at a critical point in the battle and we are praying for Gods protection over our family and friends.
But please, while your are at home please spend sometime praying for Haiti.
Pray for the virus to be contained.
Pray for healthcare workers and hospitals all over the country. Specific hospitals have been identified as treatment centres. Pray for wisdom and protection for doctors and nurses.
Pray that, where possible the people of Haiti will comply with the guidance to stay home.
Pray for Emmaus staff and students.
Pray for Bethesda staff and patients. There are many, particularly those in our HIV, TB and malnutrition who need to come and get their medicine.
As you can imagine this is not an easy time to be away from home. Like you we are concerned for our family and friends but we are also concerned for our friends in Haiti. Unfortunately we are in a position where we can't really help either of them, it feels so much like the opposite of what we are here for.
The Emmaus campus has shut down and we are staying home. Please pray for protection for our family, Sam has asthma, thankfully well controlled and Jacob has also had numerous respiratory viruses since he was a baby. As we have done since we moved to Haiti, we are trusting the Lord with their little lives.
The whole world is changing daily if not hourly and it is so tempting to be scared. Not one single person can tell us what things are going to be like tomorrow never mind in 3 months time. There are so many unknowns and I am so tempted to be asking myself all sorts of questions which could make me extremely worried, what if Sam get sicks? What if my mum gets sick and we can't go? What if we are stuck here for months? What if things turn violent in Haiti....are we safe? I mean the list could go on and on and on.
BUT, Praise the Lord I am depending and trusting in a God who knows the answer to all of these questions, who is in control and who tells me 'Who of you, by worrying can add a single hour to your life.'. (Luke 12 v 25)
Four years ago we were packing up our house and getting ready to move to Haiti with our 2 year old and newborn baby. At that point we had no idea what the next four years would bring. We never imagined we would have experienced an earthquake, political instability, property issues with Bethesda, moving to Canada to adopt a baby, more political instability and now a worldwide virus and not having the option to leave Haiti.
Here's the thing, God has been faithful throughout all of these trials, yes they have been hard but God has proven himself throughout them all and He will do the same with this one and the many that will come after this one.
Why am I telling you this, you might be thinking. here is the reason, first if your christian to encourage you to not be afraid, God is in control, even when it doesn't seem like it. The hope that we have is in knowing our salvation is secure and no matter what happens one day we will stand before Jesus, face to face and get to spend eternity with him in Heaven.
'I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.' John 16 v 33
Then if your not a christian, please consider what Jesus has done for you. He died on the cross for your sin and for mine so that our relationship with God could be restored. He wants to have a relationship with you today and give you the peace that only HE can give, even now, right in the middle of a pandemic.