Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Fuel update...

Or lack of I should say.  The fuel problem is still ongoing and its complicated, like most problems in Haiti.  Haiti did have a deal with another country for fuel but that fell apart last year,  Haiti also owes a lot of money to I don't know who for fuel so unable to buy more from whoever that is.  Now Haiti can only get fuel when they can pay for it, which well is not very often judging by the way things are.  There are also rumours of the opposition party blocking fuel trucks to put the country into shut down until the president steps down. So basically we don't really know the whole story with the fuel issues and we don't know what to believe.

What we do know is not having fuel is affecting every area of life.  A lot of schools have been unable to open as their staff and / or students cannot make it due to road blocks.  Others simply cannot afford the price of public transport, which is doubling, tripling and even more in some situations.

With lack of fuel, the transportation of food cannot happen so the price of already expensive food just keeps rising.

The two petrol stations on my way to work have both had no fuel for well over 3 weeks if not longer.  In fact the one station does not even have enough diesel to run their own generator so they have no electricity. 

Over the past couple of weeks tensions have been rising, there has been the odd protest or road block but it seems like things are coming to a head with reports of many more roadblocks over the past couple of days,  protests over the lack of fuel and a cry for the government to step up and do something.  

We are taking it day by day, to see how the roads are,  see if school is cancelled and if I am ok to go to Bethesda. 

For Bethesda this means our patient numbers are low, our staff are making the effort come to work and thankfully many of them live close by and can walk.  But for those who don't they are paying way more than usual for transportation or are getting stopped at roadblocks or walking a long way to get there.

Here is an extract from the Emmaus update

Haiti is stuck in a very bad place, again and still.

Stuck at Emmaus means having class any days the majority of students can come, pushing forward. It means teachers who can come subbing for teachers who can't.  It means working hard to keep food on the many tables, and it means searching far and wide and waiting long and longer to get fuel when we can for the generator that powers our water pumps, internet, lights, fans, fridges.

Stuck for many and most of Haiti means fasting and praying and waiting and helping one another and stretching and doing the very best possible and praying some more.

Stuck for a few means doing all and anything to get unstuck, which might include inflicting fear, and removing it for a price. It might include breaking, burning, throwing, blocking....maybe something will change if it gets ugly enough. Maybe someone will pay attention if it's loud enough, if the skies are black, if the roads sparkle. Maybe someone will DO something if they HAVE to.

I've been struggling with how to react and respond to yet another crisis in Haiti, from earthquakes to cholera, to floods, to hurricanes, to rising food prices, to political instability and to the current but not first fuel crisis....Haiti has almost seen it all and it has become so easy to respond with despair and hopelessness.

But the situation is not hopeless, it may be terrible, it may be desperate, it may be discouraging, it may even be infuriating but the one thing it is not is hopeless.

God is working in Haiti, people are turning from their sin and giving their lives to him. Men and women are being discipled through the local church.  Evangelists are going door to door sharing the gospel.  Christians are putting all their faith in him to provide all of their needs and He does.

So while things are bad in Haiti, they really are, and we will continue to pray for a solution to the fuel problem, for peace, for the government and for rising food prices,  we can take so much comfort and peace in knowing that during this time of  darkness and for many, hopelessness there are many many Christians across Haiti who can speak light into the darkness, and who can bring hope into such a hopeless situation.

Tonight I watched a simulcast on David Platt's new book, something needs to change. Its incredibly challenging but also encouraging especially for me living in a country with so much need.  He tells stories of hope and encourages Christians to have the faith to believe that God can change things, so that's what where we are putting our hope.

If you have an hour here is the link.

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