Christian relief organizations are praying for calm after Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide's resignation on Sunday, February 29.
World Vision's Kate Scannell said the mood has changed dramatically in the capital city of Port-au-Prince in the last 24 hours. "There was a lot of tension on the streets," she said. "The mood changed to be one of celebration and people feeling liberated. We're hoping that as the roads open up, we're going to be able to get medical supplies to health clinics that have been empty of supplies."
As the ministry works to help 300,000 people, Scannell says opportunities are opening to share the gospel. "We're helping to respond to some of their very basic urgent needs like food, healthcare, and helping children go to school because of our faith in Jesus Christ. And we're able to share that very openly in very practical ways." more >>
Following Sunday's eruption of violence in Haiti that killed tens and injured hundreds, the United States flew in 200 Marines to join the 200 troops already stationed in the Caribbean nation, March 1. In a similar fashion, Christian humanitarian reinforcements ushered in to help the many Christian groups who suffered in the explosive nation to guard their assigned posts.
Workers at Missionary Flights International, located at West Palm Beach, Florida, began fundraising for their mission to Haiti. With the donations the workers plan to load supplies, food and other goods on a DC-3 plane headed for Cape Haitian, the airport that was destroyed over the weekend.
"We feel we can safely go back in with supplies and food and be protected," Dick Snoof of Missionary Flights said. "We're making plans to get this down there as soon as possible." more >>
The international relief and development agency has arranged to distribute food along the Haiti-Dominican Republic border through local Haitian pastors and border churches. Phoenix-based Food for the Hungry will work to identify the most vulnerable families, helping them access food short-term and provide relief until the situation stabilizes and the borders open again.
In the past 72 hours, barricades and blocked roads have quickly become ‘normal’ for thousands of panicked people. Much of the food supply has been depleted with over half of the country struck by rebels.
Food for markets have normally been supplied by vehicles crossing from the Dominican Republic (DR) into Haiti; however due to the crisis this week, the border has been closed to vehicular traffic. DR government forces have created a special military-protected corridor just for Haitians buying food. more >>
Haiti - Missions in Haiti have met many obstacles since rebels took over Haiti's second-largest city, Cap Haitien. Even with the impending danger of the political situation, faith workers remain in the tumultuous nation to continue with their ministries.
Despite the outlook for mission workers, there is a silver lining of hope. The Bible League's Tim DeVries says the unrest makes work erratic. "Things are a little bit more difficult. We can't get through to certain areas of the country; we have to be a lot more careful. No trainings are happening at night. We need to make sure that our staff are safe, we can't go out as much. But, on the other hand, our ministry has grown. People are searching for God." At this critical time, believers are answering with faith and staying strong.
Even amidst physical danger, mission workers find ways they can still continue their ministries. DeVries explains that teams are responding very well to the situation at hand. "Pray for encouragement for the believers, that they will continue to see this as an opportunity to reach out to people with God's message of hope...and that they will remain strong and safe as they talk with neighbors, who can't go out and do other things, and maybe have an opportunity to share God's word a little bit more." more >>
WHAT: National Conference on the Current Haitian Migration Crisis, bringing together leading policymakers, analysts and advocates to develop constructive responses to an ongoing humanitarian crisis, which originates in Haiti and is compounded by U.S. treatment of Haitian asylum seekers. They are provided less protection than any other nationality seeking asylum.
Oct. 29, the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) detained more than 200 Haitian men, women and children who reached Florida. Nov. 13, the INS announced that all individuals who arrive illegally by sea would be detained and subjected to expedited removal procedures enacted by Congress in 1996.
Most of the Oct. 29 'boat group' - including unaccompanied children - remain in detention. Legal and humanitarian advocates are struggling to get sufficient access to these and others seeking safe haven from persecution, who often are rushed to immigration court before they adequately can formulate their claim. more >>
A strike by public transportation workers has paralyzed the Caribbean nation's two major cities. The strike, origination from the government's elimination of subsidies programs and rising fuel prices, proved violent as riots struck though the streets.
Eva Dehart of For Haiti With Love says their clinic workers helped treat some of the wounded. "God had For Haiti With Love exactly where we were supposed to be when we were needed. As they brought the injured people into the clinic, the entire family came with them, and then they just didn't leave; they felt safe. They just have nothing at this point. Everything that we're seeing is just a combination of frustration and desperation. They are at a total survival level."
By Pauline C. more >>