Haiti (MNN) — A customs workers strike in Haiti is keeping
shipments on the dock. The work stoppage is threatening to hold up
distribution of humanitarian food aid and other much-needed supplies.
Malnutrition is widespread among the most vulnerable, with
severe or moderate stunting affecting 42 percent of children under five. Poverty is rampant, which makes events like For
Haiti With Love's annual Christmas party a much-anticipated event.
However, For Haiti With Love's Eva DeHart says the strike
forced them to scale back their annual Christmas party. They originally had hoped to serve 700 at the
event, but because everything was still in customs, they had to whittle the
guest list down to 450.
What's more, she says, even though they have some supplies
on hand in the warehouse, the impact of the strike can only be staved off so
long. "Everything down there doubled in price this year because of all the
stuff that was trapped on the wharf. When you consider that things shipped in
October didn't make it in for Christmas, then you've impacted a lot of people
with that workers' strike. Eventually,
this thing is going to tighten down and start affecting everybody because of
the food that can't get in."
The teams started meal preparation on Christmas Eve and were
back in the kitchens at 4 a.m. on Christmas day. A good meal, dessert, music celebrating the birth of Christ, and gifts
go a long way to opening doors to the meaning behind Christmas.
The party is a great outreach opportunity, which made the
strike's impact even more severe, in spiritual terms. DeHart says, "The primary message of our
Christmas party is hope' and that with Jesus they do have hope. We focus on
Messiah's birthday, and we had Creole coloring books with the Christmas story
Please pray for the team as they continue their
work. Pray for discipleship in the days
following the party, and pray that the supplies on the dock get released before
they go bad.