Sunday, 21 November 2021

Toys

 One of the things I was able to do on during my time at home in Northern Ireland during covid was some more training, specifically in paediatrics to help our paediatric service  at Bethesda. 

We have big plans for the future of the paediatric service at Bethesda.  Altidor and Echebert have already done some training with an American OT on how to build adaptive equipment for children with additional needs.  We are planning more education for staff and for families. We want to have an occupational therapist, maybe even a speech therapist.  Its going to take a few years before we get a really good comprehensive service but its what we are working towards. Once we build a new Bethesda and move we will have more space,  something we really lack right now. 

Our kids with come every Tuesday and Thursday morning and I am so pleased to say the extra training has paid off and they are all making great improvements.  

Altidor has done a great job while I was gone during covid especially with little Oly who first came in the middle of covid, unable to even hold his head up.  He was born two months premature and has cerebral palsy.  Oly continues to improve and improve, his mum is so willing to learn and do all she can at home.  A year ago he was learning to hold his head up today he is pulling himself up to stand at home!!  



I wish you could hear the fits of giggles he has when we play with the foam roller.



Little Gabby started  about a week before I started working in September, when he first came he was not interested in anyone or toys.  His little hands were fisted shut, he was floppy and unable to hold his head up, infact on his first day I was unable to even get him into a good position to practice holding his head up because his spine was so stiff.  His wee chest was all rattly (maybe that not even a word! he was full of secretions) - not out of neglect but out of lack of education.  His family did not know what positions to put him in and how the lack of movement and poor posture affects his chest. 

Today, he is engaged, he is smiling at people, at his mom but mostly at himself in the mirror. He is holding his head up when he is supported in sitting, he is holding his head up when lying on his tummy, his chest is clear, his hands are open and grasping toys and he wants to roll over. 


After two sessions he was holding his head up and happy about it!



This is absolutely my favourite bit about being here. 

We get these kids who can't do anything, again it is not because they are neglected, it is not because they are not being well taken care of. It is because of a lack of education among the general population, among the parents and dare I say it even among some health care professionals.  One of the reasons being that physiotherapy is still a relatively new profession in Haiti and the role of physiotherapy in children with additional needs is not widely known. 

Anyway after 1 or 2 sessions we see a massive difference. It is like a light has been switched on and the child realizes they can do something.  Their brain is stimulated and it wants to learn, it wants to move and build connections.  It is really amazing to see how movement affects every area of their development.  Once they start to learn it just grows and grows and they become more and more motivated because our brains were made to develop and learn. 



One of the things we lack is space and another thing we lack is appropriate toys.  Almost all the toys there are my boys old toys and the heat and humidity has destroyed most of them.  We are in desperate need of new toys. 

This is where you can help.

I have put together a wishlist on amazon of toys which would really help us.  You can buy from anywhere in the world and have them to delivered to Bethesda using the following address 

Bethesda Medical Center PT 

Unit 1133 

3170 Airmans Drive, 

Fort Pierce, FL 

34946 

USA 

Here is the link to the wishlist maybe some of them will even be on offer for black Friday - I hope so I love a  good bargin!  I would really appreciate your help and so would these little ones. 

You can have a look at the list here.



Sunday, 7 November 2021

Opening up....well sort of

 After the holiday on November 1st and 2nd we were not sure what was going to happen the rest of the week.  But it seemed like people were fed up of staying at home and are trying to get back to normal. 

So life kind of looks normal here in the North, some schools are open, people are moving around and there are some vehicles on the road.  However fuel has not been available at the pump for more than two weeks now.  Some hospitals are close to shutting down because they do not have diesel for their generators. The only place to buy any fuel is at the side of the street for $20 (US) a gallon and I have a few questions about that. 

Firstly, how is anyone affording to pay that? If I filled up the car we drive it would cost at least $300 US.

Secondly, where is the black market getting its fuel from?

I wish I knew the answers to these questions.  Anyone I have asked doesn't know the answers either. 

It is extremely frustrating that there is fuel in the country and that people are paying the extortionately high prices for what they can find therefore the problem continues on.  As far as we hear gangs are continuing to block fuel coming from Port au Price. The gangs have said they will continue to do that until the current prime minister steps down.  So we continue to watch, wait and pray. 

Last week Emmaus did fill up the van with diesel from the generator so I have been at work the past 3 days and the boys went to school but we cannot really continue to do that so we really don't know what next week will bring. 

Emmaus did have classes last week including 3 masters courses where students had to come everyday.  The courses were offered in person and on zoom and everyday there were students who were not able to come due to transportation issues.  Emmaus has a massive advantage over other schools and universities in the country, firstly we have solar so we are not dependent on diesel to run a generator for electricity during the day.  Secondly the majority of students arrive on a Sunday and stay all week so they do not have to worry about transportation to and from Emmaus everyday. 

Bethesda has been open and receiving patients.  Not all of our staff are able to come and those who are coming are paying a ridiculously high price to get there as are our patients.  I talked with one patient on Friday, usually she pays 75 gourdes to get from where she lives to Bethesda on Friday she paid 375gourdes and that was only one way.  Just imagine how it would affect you if the price of public transport was now 4 - 5 times the normal price or the cost of filling your car up was almost ten times the cost.  There is only so long this can go on.  

Before this many people were struggling, now I have no idea how anyone is paying that sort of price for transport. 

Bethesda is pretty low on fuel and it is affecting our water supply as we need electricity to pump the water.  We have cut back as much as we can but we do need electricity for water, lights, fans and to run lab tests and X ray.  There is talk that boats are coming into Cap Haitian with fuel but much of this fuel has gone to places like banks, hospitals and the phone company.    

You can read the latest update from Bethesda here.


Monday, 25 October 2021

Shutdown again

 Here we go again.  Payi lok. Payi femen. Shut down. 

You have all experienced lockdown but this, this is different. 

Payi lok in 2018/19 was all about getting the president to step down, it was about politicians paying members of the public to protest, it was about others taking advantage by setting up road blocks and make a little money to try to feed their family.  It didn't ever work so they (whoever they are) killed the president instead. 

And since then, well since then things have just gotten progressively worse.  Kidnappings are up 300% since July and include a group of Americans and one Canadian kidnapped in Port au Prince now 9 days ago.  I can't stop thinking about the mother of the 5 children kidnapped with her 8 month old baby and 3 year and other kids being held hostage, trying to take care of her children and having no idea what the outcome may be.  Please don't get me wrong their lives are not any more valuable than the lives of the hundreds and hundreds of Haitians who have been kidnapped this year.  I just don't know if any of them have babies involved. 

The fuel crisis has hit an all time low.  Today fuel is extremely scarce and anything anyone can find is only on the black market, its probably got something added to it to make it stretch and the price ranges from $15 - $30 (US) a gallon.  The normal price is $2.50.  Yesterday as we walked to church down the road we saw very very few vehicles on the road.  The church had no diesel for its generator so there was no sound system.  The very few vehicles on the road are charging up to 5 times the normal price to go anywhere.  Hospitals all over the country and are warning that they will have to close if they do not get fuel for generators ASAP.  No electricity means no oxygen concentrators, no surgeries, no emergency C sections, no lights for treating patients after dark and no refrigeration for vaccines and other medicines.  There is no doubt people will lose their lives over the lack of fuel.  



Fuel comes into the country at the Port in the capital city in Port au Prince.  From there is it distributed to petrol stations throughout Haiti.  But in the last few months many of the truck drivers have refused to drive through certain areas without armed police because of gang activity. Today they are on strike, too many of them have been kidnapped or even killed just for doing their job.   There is fuel in the country but the gangs are asking the government for 50million gourdes ($500,000 US)  to let it through. So the whole country is at a standstill waiting to see what will happen. 

Then there is government.  Haiti now has no president but a prime minister who, by the way is being investigated for his role in the assassination of President Moise.  Elections for a new president have been postponed indefinitely.   I will say no more.  

All of this having a massive knock on effect on everything.  The price of food keeps going up and up.  Today schools are closed for who knows how long. The mobile phone service is being affected in some areas as the companies depend on diesel for their generators to function, soon it will start to affect internet service. 

So what is going on today?

Today is the start of payi femen.  Its various unions calling for a strike and asking the population to protest against the fuel crisis, the instability, the insecurity and kidnappings.  Protests are scheduled most of the week and maybe into next week.  We don't know.  But the people of Haiti have many many many reasons to protest. 

Maybe I have said it before, I probably thought it before but Haiti really is a breaking point now.  You can feel the tension, the hopelessness and the desperation.  The other sad thing is what you hear on the news, or what you hear about kidnappings and violence those people are really in the minority ruining the lives of everyday people and destroying the future for their children. 

The issues are complex and complicated and I don't think anybody knows the solution, especially long term. But something which will ease the immediate problem is deliveries of fuel and lots of it. Since we got back in August I have got fuel at the pump once.  All other time someone has had to queue for hours to fill up the tank.  When fuel is delivered many people buy it in cannisters then sell it for double or triple the price.  It has become a business.  So when fuel does come there needs to be a lot of it and it needs to be distributed properly.  

Secondly - the root of all of these current problems is insecurity.  The country is being run by gangs who are controlling what and who goes in and out of the capital city.  People living in Port au Prince where the majority of the kidnappings happen describe leaving their home like a game of Russian roulette, you don't know if you will make it home alive.  

I know many of you are now thinking, what on earth are you doing there?  We live over 100 miles away from where most of the problems are.  Today we are safe at Emmaus, we lived on a walled campus with 24 hour security and most of our electricity comes from solar panels greatly decreasing the need we have for diesel for the generators. We have a freezer full of food which no one else in our community has so we will sit tight, stay at home until well first until we get fuel for the vehicles then when it is safe to go out.  In general we don't go anywhere outside of the clinic and school anyway which are both in the same area.  I stayed home today with the boys as there is no school.  I phoned Dr Rodney who told me we had very very few patients at Bethesda and only staff members who live within walking distance were able to come.  Likely this will be the case for the next few days. 

Emmaus on the other hand, well Emmaus is pretty much functioning as normal apart from some staff members being unable to get here.  Emmaus has a massive advantage because most of our students live here in the dorms.  Many of them stayed for the weekend and others arrived early on Sunday to make sure they could be here for the week.  Bill taught this morning and did have some missing from his class because it is almost impossible to find transportation. This week we have 4 masters classes going on, a lot of the students were able to make it here yesterday and they will stay for the week but for those who didn't Bill, as the IT guy then had to get all 4 teachers connected onto zoom between 11.30 (He was teaching until 11.30) and 12 only to realize Emmaus only has one paid zoom account.  I know it sounds like a simple fix.  Trust me when I say nothing is simple in Haiti.  They got the class done but its needs to be better for tomorrow.  He is currently sitting behind me trying to work out a better system for tomorrow only the internet is being ridiculously slow so its taking a long time. 

Back to the question in point....we returned to Haiti after being away in order to finish up our time here and be able to leave well and that's what we hope to do.  Anyway that's another post. 

Don't be worried about us. 

This post is not about us but about the people of Haiti who cannot see a future, who are trying to feed their children but its seemingly impossible, who are just trying to survive while their country falls apart around them and they have no way out. 

But do pray. 

I can't see that we can do anything else. 

- Pray for fuel to be released and distributed across the country 

- Pray for those currently being held hostage by kidnappers, both Haitians and foreigners. 

- Pray for intervention for the insecurity problem caused by gangs 

- Pray for deliverance for Haiti. 

 


Sunday, 15 August 2021

Yet another prayer for Haiti

As I scrolled through my Facebook feed yesterday trying to find out how bad the situation in the south of Haiti was, over and over again I saw Pray for Haiti, Pray for Haiti and I hate to admit it but I was tired of seeing it. I know, not the kind of thing you expect to hear from a missionary, never mind a missionary who lives in Haiti. 

We have been praying for Haiti for sooo long, many have been praying for Haiti much longer than I have and yet every year it seems like things are getting worse. Every few months another crisis on top of the normal difficulties of life and it feels like we are always praying for Haiti. 



 Since I've been coming to Haiti in 2008 Haiti has seen earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, fuel shortages, drought, political unrest, cholera, a sharp increase in gangs, murders and a president assassinated. That is on top of extreme poverty.

 It really takes you to see poverty to get some kind of grasp of what it means. Even I, who live here, who visit people in their homes, who treat people with medical problems cannot get my head around how ANYONE survives.... Even those with jobs.  Many people think that because a country is poor living expenses must be cheap. This is not true for Haiti. I simply cannot believe the price of food in Haiti. Since last March this is how some of the things I buy has changed.

A bottle of mayonnaise - doubled 
A cabbage - doubled
Carrots - 50% increase 
A packet of spaghetti - doubled 
A  box of eggs - 50% increase

Pretty much everything is more expensive and not just by a few pennies. 




 Just take a moment to think how your monthly budget would be affected if the price of the food you buy had increased, some of it by 50% and a lot of it doubled. 

Then every year the school fees increase. Different schools charge different things but I know they are pretty much all expensive. Many people are telling me the entrance fees are 15,000-20,000 gourdes ($150 - $200 US).  On top of that parents are responsible for buying uniforms, shoes, school bags, lunchboxes, school books and the fees for each trimester. After that many kids need money for transportation everyday and lunch. 




When you do the maths, it's just not possible. 

I was talking with a friend last week about this very thing and I said ' You know if you add up everything you spend in a month then look at what you have earned....' right there he interrupted me and shook his head, laughing and said 'no no you can't do that, God provides.'  I said the same thing to Yverose who responded with 'It's God he does miracles.'

So you may wonder what this has got to do with prayer.  As I thought over my response to 
'pray for Haiti'  I began to realise that God is answering prayers, it's just maybe not in the way we want him or expect him to. 

He is answering prayers for so many children whose parent's absolutely cannot afford the school fees yet somehow He provides. 

He is answering prayers for the many families who have no income.  Can I just empahise that. ZERO income. NOTHING.  There is NO job seekers, NO benefits and there are simply millions of people with no jobs.  How do they live? I have NO idea but many of them do.  Again He provides. 

He is answering prayers for strength, courage, energy and resilience for the people of Haiti.  I am telling you I have never met a people in my life who have been through what the people of Haiti have been through and yet they keep going. Even in the midst of immense suffering there is joy.  

Then my mind turned to the 2010 earthquake and the many people I worked with throughout 2010 and how the Lord answered prayer for them. 




There was Lucner's brother who was trapped all night. One by one his classmates grew silent and soon he was the only one left alive and he was rescued. Lucner travelled down to Port au Prince to find him, in the middle of utter chaos he somehow, miraculously, found him and brought him back to Cap Haitian.  He had no movement in his right arm from being trapped under blocks and Lucner brought him to me to treat him.  I had no idea what I was doing but 6 weeks later he had full movement and strength in his arm.  Many many answers to prayers. 




I thought of a young girl who I treated in Milot, who was trapped under the rubble for 21 days.  Yes you read that correctly.  She was trapped for THREE weeks with no food and sometimes a drip of water which fell through from outside. She should have died, she should have never been found but she was and six months after being in hospital in Cap, she returned to Port au Prince.  Many, many answers to prayer. 



I thought of the little baby born in Milot, so very kindly named after Hannah and I - Julieanna.  Her mum was trapped under a building for days, she lost her leg and even with being trapped, plus the stress, plus an amputation, 6 months later baby Julieanna was born, a beautiful little girl with no problems.  Many, many answers to prayer.




I thought of Sterlina, only 14 years old, alone in the children's ward with her family presumed dead.  She had her leg amputated and even after she was better she lived at the hospital for months before being moved to an orphanage in Cap Haitian.  She was so reserved, devastated and traumatized by what she had experienced and was now living in a city she had never been in with people she had never met.  By the end of the year the red Cross had found her family and she was on her way back to Port au Prince to be united with them.  Many, many answers to prayer. 





Honestly I could go on and on. Miracle after miracle. 

So, like me, please don't grow weary or tired of praying for Haiti.  Although we may not see what we are asking for God is answering prayers throughout Haiti and it is truly through His people that Haiti will transform. 

Tonight the situation in the south of Haiti is bad.  The death toll now stands at over 1300, with almost 6000 injured and an unknown number unaccounted for.  Aftershocks continue and everyone is sleeping outside in the street either because they have lost their homes or they are too scared to sleep inside for fear of more shaking. 

Hospitals are crowded and medical supplies are scarce.  There are some organizations on the ground working to evacuate people to different hospitals throughout Haiti and I believe some patients have already been evacuated.  There is an immediate need for food, water, shelter and medical care.  

If you want to give please please research who you are giving to.  If the 2010 earthquake taught us anything its that is it much better to give to small organizations who are already working in Haiti.  It is also better to buy food, water and supplies in Haiti than to have them shipped in. If you need any advice on who or how to give please get in touch with me. 

And finally please continue to pray. 

- Pray for help to come soon. 
- Pray for those trapped, that they would be found, quickly. 
- Pray for those in need of medical care - that they would find it. 
- Pray for food, water and shelter to arrive quickly. 
- Pray for those involved in the rescue mission, digging through block by block with their bare hands.  Pray for strength and more equipment to arrive. 
- Tropical depression Grace is now headed for Haiti arriving tomorrow (Monday) and is predicted to bring flooding.  Pray for divine intervention.  Thankfully Grace has already been downgraded from a tropical storm to a tropical depression. 
- Pray for comfort and strength for those affected. 
- Pray for other affected by PTSD from the 2010 earthquake. 

Thank you for interceding for the people of Haiti once again. 







Saturday, 14 August 2021

Earthquake

 This morning around 8.30am there was a 7.2 earthquake in the south west of Haiti.  We felt it very slightly at home and we are all fine.

I almost can't believe it is happening,  Haiti just takes one hit after another. Now we have what is likely a humitarian crisis, during political turmoil in the middle of a world wide pandemic. How does anyone deal with that? 

Everyone's mind (including my own) goes to the 2010 earthquake in Port au prince.  There will be many today who will be suffering the affects of PTSD,any who will be remembering loved ones who died in 2010 and now many who will be in severe need.  

Initial reports are saying there is a lot of damage but we will let you know more as we find out. 

Photo from port au prince 2010 earthquake 

Keep continuing to pray for Haiti. 

Thursday, 5 August 2021

We made it!!


I know its a few days late but we are here! Thank you for your prayers, all of our travels went well and we are here. 

It really is good to be back.  This doesn't take away from the fact it was hard to leave but we are so thankful for the extended period of time we had at home with our family and friends. 



The boys did great on all the flights and flying through the Bahamas worked out fine.  It was pretty amazing to fly out of the Bahamas and onto Turks and Cacois and then onto Haiti.  The beauty of those flights in that you are on a small (30 people) propeller plane and the views are amazing!  The colour of the water is unbelievable.  I have to say and maybe I am biased but Haiti does have the most beautiful landscape the mountains in Haiti are just beautiful.  Haiti has so much potential. 












We arrived on Sunday and as soon as we got home the boys ripped their shoes off and were straight outside. Its like they are back in their natural habitat!  They are really enjoying being back and of course the fact that Bello is unbelievably, still alive, made their day.  Bello is pretty glad to have some company and some actual cat food!  I was a little concerned how Jacob was going to be, we had no idea if he remembered Haiti or not.  Usually he is very quiet and scared around strangers but so far he has been great with everyone who has been to our house.  This is such a big answer to prayer.  Jacob has made so much progress in the past year not only with his speech, but in his whole development and we just weren't sure how another big transition would affect him, but he has done brilliantly. 

 






when we first got here it felt a little bit like we were in a time warp, when we arrived in the house my shopping list was still written on the whiteboard, meals written in the diary for the week we left, my pjs and our bedsheets in the dirty washbox, and Bill's whiteboard full of his classes. 

We have been spending the last few days organizing, cleaning, washing and seeing people.  All our clothes have been sitting for over a year and all needed washed. With not having any other missionaries on campus and no tesco nearby I wasn't sure how those first few days would be.  Normally when any of us get back we make sure the other people have some food in the cupboards and meals for a day or two but even without the other missionaries here the Lord sent us lots of people.  Leme and Gerta went to town to buy us some food,  Yverose came on Monday to help with the washing and cleaning, Rose has been staying for a few days, Vedane left a lasagne for dinner on Sunday and Shelley brought dinner and other things on Monday.  All of this has made these first few days a LOT easier.  





I visited Bethesda on Wednesday and it was so good to see everyone even if they did say ' Julie you look so much fatter its good, you look better like that.' I'll take it as a compliment.  I walked into the PT department and it was full of patients plus Altidor and Echebert and 5 students from the local PT college.  It has come a long way from when I first came to Haiti 5 years ago.



Thank you for your prayers and support over this time.  I am not really great at keeping this blog up to date so I have decided to try to share a little more on my instagram page about living in Haiti. I can do shorter posts and share more photos if your on instagram feel free to follow me @julie_edler. When we were home a lot of people were asking me what day to day life was like and I think that is the best way to share.











Monday, 12 July 2021

What's next

 I was sitting at the rockpools on Wednesday morning when I got a message on the Bethesda staff whatsapp group which said 'Now the problems are worse, they have assassinated President Jovenel Moise.'  My initial thought was that its probably wasn't true.  There are always rumours and deception going on in Haiti so I don't always believe everything I read but just a few minutes later an official report came through and then I checked the BBC news and there is was on the breaking news.  The next message was 'take a lot of caution before you go out today.' 

I had no idea what to think, no idea what this meant for Haiti, no idea what this meant for us. 

Right away the borders were closed and the prime minister declared a state of siege for two weeks. This means that Haiti is under martial law. 

As the day went on people were sending me the news and I talked to a few friends in Haiti, all hurting, all grieving and all SCARED.  Scared of what this means and what will happen next. 


Thankfully things have been quiet especially around Cap Haitian, many people are staying home and waiting.  Just watching and waiting for what will happen. Obviously the situation has the potential to turn very volatile. 

If you want to stay up to date with what has been happening what we have been reading on the news is pretty much what we are also hearing from Haiti.  But I do want to try and answer some questions people have asked me. 

How are things in Haiti?

This is a massive question which we get asked often and its difficult to answer but I will try my best from what I know.  Things are calm and quiet. Everyone is appalled at the murder of their president and they want justice.  So far the Haitian police force have worked hard and out of the 28 people they believe to be involved twenty of them have been arrested, three are dead, which leaves five on the run.  

Who is in charge now?

According to the Haitian constitution the supreme court president should take power if the president dies, unfortunately the supreme court president died of COVID 19 just a few weeks ago. The prime minister has stepped up and taken power but the difficulty is that President Jovenel had chosen a new prime minister just days before he died who was due to be ratified in parliament on the day he died.  As you can see it's complicated. As far as I understand now the original prime minister is leading the country, however this could change. 

 What will happen now?

No one really knows.  President Jovenel's term was due to finish and a new President was to be sworn in on February 2022 so this is an election year.  In September there was also supposed to be a referendum on the constitution.  It is unclear what will happen with either of those things. 



Was he a good president?

There is a lot of information which travels through Haiti very quickly particularly on whatsapp and it is extremely difficult to know what is truth and what is not. So as a disclaimer I cannot tell you what is truth and what is not. I can just share my perception living there and getting information from friends, both Haitian and missionaries. 

In order to understand if he was good I need to share a little more of the history.  President Jovenel was elected in 2016 and took office in February 2017 and many people in Haiti thought he would finally bring change.  He worked hard on building roads, providing irrigation and electricity.  But right from the election the opposition did not want him elected, in fact the election was done 3 times.  He won every time.   

In summer 2018 protests started against him and his party saying they were involved in stealing money from aid which came from Venezuela.  This was the beginning of more than 2 years of political unrest which has destabilized the country, played havoc with the exchange rate, made everything more and more expensive, and life much much more difficult for the average Haitian...and of course making President Jovenel look like a terrible president. 

Most of the protests were called for by the opposition claiming they would not stop until the president chose to step down.  These protests were called 'peyi lok',  Shut the country down.  And the methods they used were extreme.  Schools were closed for weeks at a time, in fact from September - December 2019 children across Haiti were not able to go to school.  Threats were being forwarded around on whatsapp making parents very fearful of  even attempting to send their children to school. Fuel in gas stations was rare but could be bought on the black market for an extortionate price, road blocks were frequent and just a mile down the road from us they actually cut a hole in the road so no trucks or vehicles could get past - especially not fuel trucks. We didn't leave Emmaus for days sometimes weeks at a time.  Life was getting more and more difficult for the people of Haiti and many people were blaming the president and of course he did not step down because as he said he was fairy elected and he believed in democracy. 

But the whole time Jovenel was claiming he was trying to root out government corruption and it looks like that is exactly what he was trying to do.  It is no secret that a very small percentage of people own most of Haiti's wealth, meanwhile 60% of Haitians live below the poverty line. It makes sense that he was making some very rich and powerful people very angry by not letting them do what they have always done. 

So I think yes he was good, he tried to do the right thing and improve the lives of the people of Haiti and he lost his life over it when he was murdered in his own home. I just pray that his death was not in vain and maybe finally this will be a turning point in Haiti's history. 

Are you still going back?

Short answer yes. The airports were closed for a couple of days after the assassination but have now reopened.  Things are quiet, particularly in the North so we are still moving forward with leaving at the end of this month.  We will keep in close contact with people we trust in Haiti to see how the situation develops and as long as we are still able to do our jobs we will be returning to Haiti. 

Are you scared?

It is easy to allow yourself to be scared. To create scenarios in your mind of what might happen.  It is true Haiti is not the same place it was when we moved there in 2016 and because of that there are certain things which we don't do.  We don't go out in the dark anywhere, never really have, actually, not just because of safety but it is terrifying to drive with no street lights on the same road as cars and motorbikes who often have no head lights. I don't go into Cap Haitian or the market alone.  We probably won't drive to the airport alone.  Let me put your mind at ease a little (mum), our campus where we live has 24 hour security.  Emmaus has a great relationship with the people in the village we live in.  We know lots of people who live there.  The boys school also has 24 hour security.  The shop at the petrol station on the way home which I stop at sometimes has an armed security guard (its funny what you get used to - we don't even notice anymore!!).  If people tell us not to leave the house we don't.  During other periods of unrest I waited until Junel, who works at Emmaus and travels from Vaudrieul (where the clinic is), arrived and let me know if the road was ok, then I would go. A lot of what you will hear from Haiti will be in Port au Prince (100 miles from us) and it is a lot more dangerous than the rest of the country. 

For those of you in Northern Ireland you will understand when I say you have to think of it like the Troubles when there were certain places you wouldn't go at certain times. The Troubles affected many different people in different ways and some of it depended on where you lived or what your job was.  I have memories of being in a bomb scare and of my mum getting her handbag searched before we went into a shop. 

Are the boys going with you?

A personal favourite of mine which I think you know the answer to. 


I am more than happy to answer any other questions if you have them. 

Yesterday I sent out our monthly prayer update and I want to finish by sharing the prayer requests with you. 

Please pray for peace and stability.  The situation obviously has the potential to turn very volatile.  So far things in the North of Haiti are quiet, many people are too scared to leave their homes.  Bethesda has remained open for those who do need medical care. 

Pray for a smooth transition of power.  The process is not simple.  The government has not been functioning well for quite a while and the judge who should have taken power died from COVID 19 just a few weeks ago.  The prime minister has taken control, however, President Jovenel had appointed a new prime minister just a couple of days before he died but he had not been ratified yet. 

Pray that this will be a turning point in Haiti's history and that finally government corruption will end.  

Pray for those who planned, financed and carried out the murder that they will be brought to justice. Haitian authorities have already arrested 20 people. 

Pray for the Haitian police force as they try to catch those involved.  The PM has requested support from the United States and it is reported that some FBI personnel will arrive in Haiti to help with the investigation. I believe they arrived today (Sunday). 

Pray for the Haitian people at this extremely difficult time.  Everyone we have spoken to is scared of what may happen next. 

Pray for us as we pack and plan to leave at the end of the month. 










John 1 v 5 
The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. 

 

Isaiah 43 v 2 
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
    and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
    and the flame shall not consume you.



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