Haiti (MNN) — The rising cost of
food in Haiti is devastating to residents who can barely afford a cup of
Where many were spending as much
as 80 percent of their daily income on food before the sharp increase in food
prices, with the current shortages and ever increasing costs, what was
difficult to obtain before has now become nearly impossible.
The food security problems
coupled with high unemployment spilled
over into violence and rioting that led to the ouster of the country's Prime
minister in April. President Rene Preval
is still trying to get a replacement approved through Parliament, after two rejections.
However, Eva DeHart with For Haiti with Love says no
matter how bad things get, their Christmas party will be held because it's a
glimmer of hope. "If we were to stop that celebration of Jesus' birthday,
they would interpret that that we were giving up. It is also our outward indication to them
that God is still there and God is still providing, and we still have faith
that everything is going to be okay."
DeHart says that's why Christmas
in August needs to happen. It's the
fundraiser that makes the Christmas Day party in Haiti possible. For Haiti with Love hosts the party specifically for
poverty-stricken children and their parents in Northern Haiti.
On the day of the party, the
Haitians put on their finest party clothes and arrive with expectation. They
are fed a hearty hot meal with a special treat at the end. Throughout the
party, the meaning of Christmas and the full Gospel is shared repeatedly in
songs and stories, and all who attend are given a gift.
Because the preparation for such
an event takes coordination and planning ahead of time, the ministry appeals to
donors in the U.S. to help at the August fundraiser. "They pay $25 for the dinner. That is
used for gifts that we don't receive, given to us and also for the cargo money
to get everything down there, and for the things that we buy on the local
This year, the 21st Annual Christmas
in August is slated for August 11, 2008, in Dunedin, FL. Funds
raised from this event will cover the costs of gifts and a meal for approximately
1500 children on Christmas day in Haiti.