New leaders, old challenges in Haiti

By May 9, 2024

Haiti (MNN) — Haiti’s transitional presidential council has taken one step forward, then two steps back. On April 30, the newly formed, nine-member council nominated Fritz Belizaire as prime minister. However, the council took back that decision days later, saying it would revert to a previous plan to elect a prime minister from a group of candidates. 

The transitional council itself is barely two weeks old. The day it was established (April 25), former prime minister Ariel Henry officially resigned. The council is meant to provide interim guidance until the next president of Haiti can be elected no later than February 2026.

Meanwhile, for more than two months, gang violence has ravaged Port-au-Prince. More than 90,000 people have fled the capital in 2024. The number of those killed or injured from January to March surpassed 2,500

“This current situation is a complicated one. It’s a messy one. I’ve heard Haitians say God needs to come down Himself and fix it. That’s how complex it is,” says Zacharie Francois, a pilot mechanic with Mission Aviation Fellowship.

Zacharie François, left, on a flight with MAF Haiti pilot Eric Fagerland. Nestor Mercure, an MAF mechanic assistant, is in the back seat. (Photo, caption courtesy of MAF)

“Ever since January 2023, Haiti, the capital – Port-au-Prince – has been beating Ukraine in death toll numbers almost every single month. The month we have not beat Ukraine, we’re only shy by 50 or 100 souls.”

The unrest has led MAF to take a brief step back in its operations in Haiti. Currently, only one plane is in Haiti. Three others are back in the U. S. undergoing restoration work. They are making the most of this “pause” God has given. The planes should be back by early fall, ready for gospel service in Haiti.

When Francois thinks about his country’s situation today, he remembers Romans 8:26 which says the Holy Spirit prays for us when we don’t know what to pray for. He asks that the Church pray for the MAF team in Haiti. All of its expat missionaries are no longer in Port-au-Prince at this time.

“As human beings we don’t like uncertainty. But we’ve been living in that for the past 12 to 24 months,” Francois says. “Prayers as we navigate the political changes that are happening in Haiti. Whenever it is the government change or political instability, that affects the entire political spectrum down to the aviation world.”

Pray for peace for Haiti, that the yet-to-be-determined next prime minister and Cabinet will be wise in leading the nation out of chaos. Pray that gangs will lay down their arms and submit to new authorities. 

Learn more about MAF’s ministry here. 



Header photo is a representative stock image of a man looking out over Haiti, courtesy of Kelly via Pexels.

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