Haiti (MNN) — Today marks one month since a notorious gang in Haiti kidnapped 17 missionaries from the United States and Canada. The group includes four children younger than 15 years old.
There’s little to no public information about the safety and well-being of the believers. For Haiti With Love’s Eva De Hart says the ongoing drama raises concern among Haiti-focused agencies like hers.
“A lot of the [agencies] became aware of how dangerous a setting they have sent people into. They realize it could easily happen to the people they sent down there, too,” De Hart says.
The U.S. and Canada withdrew nonessential embassy staff last week from offices in Port-au-Prince. American Airlines’ flight reductions began today. “There is no law and order in the capital; Port au Prince is being run by the gangs,” De Hart says.
“It’s really, really dangerous. There’s no moral code to the gang rule, and you never know what to expect.”
Problems in the north
Challenges in northern Cap-Haïtien, the home of For Haiti With Love, look a little different than those plaguing the south. “We don’t have gang rule up north,” De Hart says, “but it has rained so much.”
Excess rain leads to mudslides in Cap-Haïtien, located at the base of Haiti’s northern mountain range. Plus, standing water makes the perfect habitat for mosquitoes.
“Malaria is prevalent in the island, and mosquitoes are the cheerful spreaders,” De Hart says.
“As these mosquitoes mature and start spreading malaria, then there’s going to be more sick people than healthy people. One bad situation always creates a couple of worse situations.”
For Haiti with Love shows God’s love by following the Lord’s commands in Matthew 25:35-40 to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick, and shelter the homeless. Learn more about For Haiti’s work here.
The Lord hasn’t given up on Haiti, and neither should we.
“Pray for a strong leader in Port au Prince that can get the gangs under control,” De Hart requests.
“They (Haitians) need a leader, and they don’t have one right now, so the gangs have taken over that position.”
Pray for renewed financial partnerships between Haiti-focused nonprofits and Western believers. “Americans have backed off (stopped giving) without realizing what an impact they have when they back off. [Today’s crises are] a combination of all of the situations plus the downgrade in giving from the United States,” De Hart says.
Header and story images courtesy of For Haiti With Love.