Haiti in Crisis

Sep 15, 2022

We want to share with you two recent challenges in our Haiti’s Children efforts
and what we can tangibly do to address the crisis before us.

Dear friends,
I want to briefly share with you two recent challenges we are facing in our Hope for Haiti’s Children efforts, how we are responding to these hindrances, and how you can help.

First, on September 13, Jeantyrard Elmera, our Haiti country director, died suddenly of a heart attack. We will miss him immensely. Jeantyrard’s faith and optimism were contagious. He helped launch HFHC in 1995 with 13 children in Cite Soleil – where he was leading the Delmas 28 congregation to reach out to the poor – even though 70% of his congregation were unemployed! And yet he had faith that God could move mountains. And we witnessed mountain after mountain moved – as Jeantyrard invested in lifting up and training young people to become Christian leaders. And we are now blessed to have many of these trusted Christian professionals helping us as we move forward through this time of transition. I know Jeantyrard would be proud of how our Haiti team is not shrinking back but continuing to be diligent in carrying out the day-to-day operations of Hope for Haiti’s Children. I appreciate what one of our Haiti ministry leaders wrote after his passing:

Now that he is gone, let us take strength and courage to continue the work he started and to finish what he had yet to achieve. Hand in hand we make a fantastic chain of solidarity to keep HFHC alive and reach further than we expect.

Amen to that! And our board and staff here in the U.S. are committed to keep this chain unbroken through every aspect of our work. We are finishing up many Project Hope efforts as schools are opening next month and have more projects ready to begin.

The second challenge needing prayer is a trifecta of crises impacting Haiti right now. Our children in Haiti have weathered many crises, including earthquakes and hurricanes. However, at no point in our HFHC history has the country faced a worse time. A UN Special Representative said yesterday, “Haiti has an economic crisis, a gang crisis, and a political crisis that have converged into a humanitarian catastrophe.” The president of neighboring Dominican Republic calls it a “low-intensity civil war.” Economically, the country is reeling from a 30% inflation rate and 10 days ago the Prime Ministry announced that fuel prices were going to immediately double. Since then, massive protests have shutdown all vehicle transportation – causing many to shelter in place.

Gangs weaponized by drug lords and oligarchs now claim control over 60% of Haitian territory. The gangs have taken control of much of Port-au-Prince – even occupying the courthouse. Over 20,000 people have been driven from their homes. Thousands of people are dying each month from gang-related violence, a lack of food, and a lack of medical care. We praise God, that to our knowledge, all of our sponsored children have escaped harm, but we urgently need your prayers for peace. Yesterday, I was pleased that the UN announced a $30 million fund to train Haitian police SWAT units and provide them with more capacity to stand up against the gangs. But please pray that more can be done to provide safety for all our children and families who are suffering at this time.

So what can be done now? I’ve asked Tonya Hunt, HFHC Vice-President, to share how you can tangibly help as we address the crises before us.

With everything that Ken just shared and what you hear in the news, you can imagine the question that I have been asked countless times. “Are you still there, working in Haiti?”. And I can confidently respond, “Oh Yes, we are still there…because THEY, the children, are still there.” The needs are coming across our desks are like never before. There is a constant fear for their safety, people are hungry and in need of food and water, people afraid to leave their homes and unable to go to work. The start of school has already been delayed by a month and is set to open next week. And we are filled with anticipation and hope that our 3,000 children will be headed off to one of our 10 schools next week.

One of the only things greater than fear is HOPE. Yes, the situation seems bleak, dark, and sad. From their circumstances, it is not hard to see how they could lose hope. But they also see a little candle to light the way which surrounds them with God’s love. They know that they are not forgotten. When they are hungry, they are fed. When they are thirsty, there is water. 27 years ago, Hope for Haiti’s Children was founded as a grass-roots organization. That means that over the years, we have locked arms with a strong group of trustworthy Haitian leaders. We have teachers, principals, nurses, orphanage workers. They are intelligent, courageous, wise, and resilient. The love and care is tangibly felt through their hands, minds, and hearts of those who serve them and it fills them with hope. And. Hope is greater than fear.

We CANNOT do it without you AND they NEED us. How can you help?

First, and most importantly, please pray.

If you sponsor a child, thank you. Your support is vital, especially right now. It provides them with a Christian education and so many other benefits like food, healthcare, and responding to their needs in times of crisis. The children (and their parents) are so grateful to know that someone cares. If you would like to sponsor a child, please consider it today. It provides HOPE and it helps them to break this cycle of poverty that they are caught up in. It will change their life.

If you feel like you’d just like to help today, please consider a donation to help us meet the needs that are most urgent. They truly need it and we will ensure that it directly meets the topmost needs that they have right now.

God bless,
Ken Bever, Founder/President and Tonya Hunt, Vice-President

Please PRAY & SUPPORT in this time of crisis.

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