Haiti (MNN) — Former dictator Jean-Claude "Baby
Doc" Duvalier's return to Haiti has created a political paralysis
dangerous to the unstable country.
The tainted November election, the delayed runoff vote, and a president who insists on remaining in
office was the scene painted against a backdrop of a devastating quake, floods and
cholera epidemic. As if that weren't bad
enough, Duvalier's appearance is causing a lot of distress.
Kids Alive has several ministries in Haiti. Jeff Vandermolen with Kids Alive says they're already feeling
the impact of what's going on. "A lot
of forward progress is being held back by the political instability."
He explains that "the
donor nations are really holding back funding until they see a credible plan,
and really, a credible government structure in place that can carry out that plan.
We've experienced that where we've had delays in what we've wanted to do at
the start of construction."
It's a vicious cycle. The general instability creates a greater need, which creates instability
over slow response, and people get upset. Kids Alive looks at it as an
opportunity for ministry, although the chaos of the political situation added
to confusion makes implementing any new programs and resourcing them much more
Still, Vandermolen says the needs continue to exist. "We've been able to start a ministry just two
week ago to a group of street children in the Cap Haitien area." Their team started a Care Center program that
will help street kids in Cap Haitien.
Facilities are being renovated for the opening of the Haiti
Boys Care Center in February. The boys will receive meals, education,
tutoring and counseling at this central location.
They've also launched an 8th children's home. Vandermolen says, "Some of the children are coming
from the Cap Haitien area. They're kids
who have been affected by the earthquake. Some of the kids are coming from another
orphanage that was shut down."
Since the quake, the number of children in their school and
homes has quadrupled. Kids Alive
provides an education, nutritious meals, and medical care. Regardless of the situation, Kids Alive's involvement
in the children's rescue gives them hope for the future. "The base of all of our programs is to
introduce kids to Christ, to give them an opportunity to know Christ," notes Vandermolen, adding, "It really comes from intense relationship
with kids that's occurring around family devotions, at the dinner table, and during
the day, as our staff are being Christ to these kids. "
It's a large undertaking, and one that is vulnerable to the political
upheaval and uncertainty in Haiti. You
can pray, you can give, and you can go. There are more details here.