Prayers are needed for Haiti as the demands of gang leaders interrupt the nation’s fuel supply. Hospitals, businesses, and schools are at a standstill.
In the past four months, the country of Haiti has experienced an assassination of its president and an earthquake. The resulting political instability and turmoil in the country have led to an increase in gang violence that already plagued the nation. On October 18, 17 missionaries from the U.S. and Canada were abducted by gangs after visiting an orphanage located in the Croix des Bouquets area north of the capital. The group included a mother and four children from Hart, MI. The family was active in the village’s Dunkard Brethren Church. All 17 of the captured were in Haiti on a mission from the Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries. While ransom demands have been made, no additional word has been forthcoming about the group’s safety or possible release.
By October 25, news of a general shut-down of the country’s schools, hospitals, and businesses began driven by lack of fuel and gang demands for the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry. Reuters reported that “United Nations children’s agency UNICEF on Sunday here said it had negotiated fuel deliveries to Haitian hospitals but that the provider later refused to make the deliveries, citing security conditions.”
David Draeger emailed from the capital of Port au Prince, “I have no power and no diesel to run the generator. Diesel is not available and the little bit you can find is 1,500 gds ($15) for a rum-bottle full. The whole country is on lockdown. No banks, no businesses, no groceries, no fuel, no street vendors for the next three days. It is spooky quiet.” Draeger is a man from Indiana living in Haiti, who coordinates volunteers for the Methodist Church of Haiti.
Mario Damis, HAPITech Coordinator for Haitian Assets for Peace International, reports from the rural community of Mizak. The following is a transcript of the YouTube video in which Mario describes the hardships being experienced.
“Hello everybody, I am Mario Damis, Coordinator of HAPITech. Today I am going to give you a brief update on the current situation in Haiti.
“If you remember in the last video I made, the Haitian state had lost control of the gangs in Haiti SO, that is a major problem. The gangs do whatever they want. They kidnap people night and day. They steal trucks. Even many police stations are closed because of safety.
“At this time, I couldn’t imagine things could be worse. But unfortunately what we are living in Haiti right now is terrifying. The country is completely shut-down for about two weeks. All the schools are closed. People are demonstrating against the unsafe conditions. There are kidnappings. All the roads are blocked.
“The other major problem we have is the gas shortage. There is no gasoline. So many hospitals already announced that they are going to close because they don’t have gasoline to run their generators. Communication companies like Digicel announced that 20% of their sites are already down because there is no gasoline. A gallon of gasoline that we used to buy for $2 costs $25 right now. I believe next week the price will double. There is no gasoline to transport from Port au Prince to the countryside. That’s a very big problem.
“Here in Mizak, we are lucky to have HAPI here. HAPI uses solar energy. I believe we will be able to provide health care.
“So, please pray for Haiti because things are very, very hard for us. There is a proverb that says, “When things are more difficult, the deliverance is near.” Hopefully, things will change in Haiti very soon. Thank you in advance for your prayers.”
Motorcycles and horses are a primary means of transportation on the mountain roads that lead to Mizak. The motorcycles will be silent for a while.
The United Methodist Committee on Relief has awarded grants to Haiti to aid earthquake recovery. Gifts to UMCOR’s International Disaster Response #982450 will help meet basic needs and resupply hospitals.