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Haiti Update: January 2023

Since our article in September 2022 about the conditions in Haiti, you may be wondering if the conditions remain the same or if they have changed since that time. Unfortunately, we cannot tell you that the situation has improved (see: UN aid chief: Gangs control about 60% of Haiti’s capital).

The country’s instability, fragility, and unrest continue to impact the lives of its precious people… who are our friends, colleagues, students, and brothers and sisters in Christ. Honest and good people who work hard to support themselves and their families.

Gangs continue to enact violence, control ports, interrupt travel, disrupt distribution of fuel to gas pumps, and cause inability to access many social services in the country. The roads are dangerous, especially around Port-au-Prince. 

Our ministry work in Haiti has been impacted in many ways:

  • Rising inflation: Inflation has caused the cost of just about everything to skyrocket, including ministry expenses. Inflation in Haiti was already high in June (at 29%); but by October it was at 47.2%, overall. Life has become unbearably expensive for a majority of Haitians. 

  • Daily work: Our Haitian staff have to limit their trips to the capital, which is where they need to go to purchase things such as generator and vehicle parts.

  • Rising hunger: Hunger and malnutrition have been on the rise, making our nutrition program and school meal programs even more critically important. Two Lifeline containers containing meals were recently released from the port, which is a blessing to so many!

  • Rising fuel costs: Over the past year, our fuel expenses have jumped 128% for gasoline and 89% for diesel (for our generators). Our staff has to travel great distances to find a gas station that has fuel. Our generators supply power to our offices, including computers & internet; but due to the rarity and cost of fuel, our leaders have to limit the number of hours the generator can run each day in order to ration the diesel fuel.

  • Impact on schools: We have noticed a lower enrollment in our schools this year. This is partially because academic expenses (books, school supplies, uniforms, etc.) are higher than usual, adding to households’ hardships. 

And yet despite all of this, Lionel, Assistant Director of the Port-au-Prince Region, sees many reasons to be positive. Lionel said, 

We give thanks to God for the year of 2022. God gave us strength inside of all the difficulties we faced. We learned from the challenges and kept moving forward with a better understanding. Just like in 1 Samuel 7:12, the Lord helped us! He was there! We have many reasons to be thankful…

    • We haven't been attacked by any gangs or violent protests.
    • All our staff here have been able to come to work.
    • Our local church has remained open, even though other nearby churches have closed. We are not better than them; it’s just a grace from God. And we are grateful! 
    • People got baptized, even though it was difficult. 
    • Our clinic has been open every day. We are one of the few clinics in the community, and our clinic serves many people.
    • About 150 people have come to Christ! We call these new believers once a month to know how they are doing.

Do we know how 2023 will look? Absolutely not! But we trust God. We will stay positive and optimistic because the Lord will still be with us, and He still provides.

The Power of Prayer
Our Haitian brothers and sisters would not ask you to cry for them in this moment. They would ask you to pray for them, and not in some passing or small way. They would ask you to pray for them every single day. Pray hard...on your knees! 

  • Pray that when they are tired, God will strengthen their bodies. 
  • Pray that when they are discouraged, the Holy Spirit will remind them of who their King is and that the hope of his return will allow them to stand with courage.
  • Pray that they will see beyond the chaos and see Jesus battling not only for them but for those who are far off from him.
  • Pray that though the enemy is working to bring death and destruction to the country, the LORD would work through his people to bring life and peace! 

As long as it is safe, our brothers and sisters in Haiti continue ministering in our churches, schools, clinics, etc. Your partnership with Lifeline is so important right now!  

  • The meals you have packed are being distributed daily by our Haitian brothers and sisters who work in our nutrition programs and cook in our school kitchens. Those meals are good news in chaotic times. 

  • Your financial partnership has allowed our Haitian brothers and sisters to be at work in our clinics, restoring health to those who are sick. 

  • In the schools that you support, the children are being taught and cared for daily by our Haitian brothers and sisters who work in our schools. 

  • The churches that you have helped plant have leaders and pastors who are working hard to proclaim and demonstrate the Good News in their communities. 

In these areas and so many others, our Haitian brothers and sisters are hard at work. Having work in these chaotic times is good news! 

Let’s continue to lock arms in these times of chaos. Let’s keep praying and advancing with Jesus in bringing his Kingdom to earth as it is in heaven! May God bring his grace and and may he bring peace to Haiti!