There is no hiding the fact that things are tough in Haiti nowadays. The only thing flourishing in Haiti is the gangs. Violence, kidnapping and other direct influence from the gangs remains a Port-au-Prince thing, but the entire country is hostage in many ways. Many items we all use are no longer available, or they are unreasonably priced. I tried to acquire a big water tank, but learned that the trucks bringing them from Port have not been able to do so for some number of months. Photocopies used to be dirt cheap. That is no longer the case. The little six-page books I used to make without thinking now require planning and a budget.
People are losing weight. I saw it last December when I flew back. It is not dramatic...yet. People used to address hunger with cheap cookies from the DR, cheese curls, and the like. Those items are dramatically high priced now. They aren’t selling, because people don’t have that much money for snacks. Soft drinks used to be part of the daily diet here. Not any more. The cheapest way to fill you belly these days is plain bread and water. I add real ocean salt to make the bread into a soft pretzel, and I add sugar to make it into cake. Spaghetti (no sauce) is a second option. The people who make food for me used to do a great job of including vegetables. When I mention that now, they say : “Too expensive.”
Life goes on. Schools are working. I am sure absenteeism is up and test scores are down. But at least they are functioning. Band and choir activities here at ASAPH have really suffered in January and February.
As much as ever, Haiti needs the light of the Gospel. Christians are the salt, the light that society needs more and more. The local church here just had 21 straight days of evening services...worship and preaching. It was well attended, and many people worked long hours to make it all happen every day for three weeks. A church auction near the end raised an eye-opening amount of money from right here in the community. God is faithful. And He is good all the time!
Missionary in Haiti.