Election results in Haiti could mean more violence

By December 3, 2010

Haiti (MNN) — December 7 is a day that may create another crisis for the beleaguered nation of Haiti. Even before the massive earthquake struck on January 12, 2010, it was the poorest in the Western Hemisphere. Now, it's no better. A cholera epidemic and election irregularities have Haitians teetering on the brink of utter frustration.

President of Christian World Outreach Dean Yoder says they have work all over Haiti, and their ministry has been affected by the protests. "It is unsafe for most people because of the violence in the streets. It has affected ministry because some people are afraid to go out."

Does Yoder expect the violence to increase once the election results are announced? "Yes, I really do because the people are telling us that those who are being elected are not who the people want. I think once the actual results are revealed, there will be more rioting in the streets, more violence."

Christian World Outreach (CWO) began working in Haiti in 1979 and is currently operating a children's feeding program, a church development program, a leadership development program, youth camps, a medical clinic, and two vocational training centers.

Yoder says they expanded their vocational training center to help tent city earthquake victims. "Statistics show that among young girls living in tent cities between the ages of 13 and 20, over 50 percent of them are pregnant due to rape and gang violence," he says.

Christian World Outreach is helping a few of those victims. "We have taken 25 of those ladies to our center in Port-au-Prince, and we're teaching them sewing, cooking and house cleaning so they can make a living to support their new babies."

These young ladies also hear the Gospel. "One of the things they have to do to be a part of the program is attend a weekly Bible study. And many of them are accepting the Lord, which we're very excited about."

This program isn't something CWO planned. Yoder says, "This puts a strain on our budget. It puts a strain on our building. But we feel we have to do something to address the problem in the tent cities. The tent cities are not going away. There are thousands of people still living in tent cities."

You can sponsor a tent city victim for $80 a month for this intensive training. Once these 25 women are trained, they'll train another 25. If you'd like to help, click here.

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