November 22, 2019
With Haiti experiencing increased violence, shortages of electricity, food and running water, the shutdown of travel, businesses and banks, First Presbyterian Church’s Global Missions Committee recently designated $5000 in emergency relief funds to our mission partners in Bayonnais as a response to our concern about the escalating violence and unrest in Haiti this year.
Haiti also needs our prayers.
Although our mission in Bayonnais is alive, it clearly has been affected by the political and economic crisis in the country. A recent report in the Washington Post and another in The New York Times provide context for the unrest in Haiti.
Current unrest was caused when when it was revealed that employees of the government have misappropriated more than $3 billion donated by the Venezuelan government through discounts on fuel imports. This revelation has created an unstable environment in the greater Port-au-Prince area—an instability that now extends into smaller surrounding towns on the 90-mile travel route to Bayonnais.
Crime is rising throughout much of the country, including an increase in incidents on the main highway we travel. Food and fuel are scarce, schools are closed and banks do not have money to open. (The emergency funds we designated can be held by our mission partner FOFCB until banks can make funds available.) Businesses are closed and there is little electricity or running water. Churches from the Charlotte and surrounding areas have cancelled all mission trips this fall.
Despite these dire hardships, mission partner Actionnel Fluerisma writes often to express his hope and declare his faith. This week, he wrote the following to the Ministry Team via email to Glenna Cook:
“Good morning, Nurse Glenna! Thank you so much for such a big action on behalf of the Bayonnais community! It is huge. Not a small thing at all. The spirit which is behind it goes way over $5,000.00. If anyone can count the depths of love and admiration, we can also calculate the depths of what the leadership of your church has done. Thank you for the message and immense thanks to the whole leadership of First Presbyterian Church of Charlotte, North Carolina! Actionnel”
Although the school in Bayonnais is temporarily closed, the clinic is open and continues to see patients as supplies allow. Please continue to:
- Pray for children and families in Bayonnais
- Sponsor school children through World of God (contact Sherri Buzzard at firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Contribute to financially support the mission through the Alternative Gift Market 2019 FPC Historic Lobby
- Contribute to the food supply for maternity patients at the clinic (contact Glenna Cook at email@example.com)
The First Presbyterian Church Haiti Ministry Team is grateful to the many members who have expressed concern about the escalating violence and unrest in Haiti this year. Our travel may be suspended for a time but our mission can thrive until such time as we can resume travel.
Peace and blessings,
Haiti Ministry Team