St. Philip’s World Missions Update from Haiti
Pictured: Clay Hershey hands a fresh Polaroid picture to a student on La Gonâve during the 2019 mission to Haiti.
Haiti is going through a very difficult time right now. On May 24, Haiti declared a state of health emergency due to the increase in COVID-19 cases. President Jovenel Moise has been ruling by decree after legislative elections due in 2018 were delayed following disputes on the limits of his term. Moise had even announced plans to hold a constitutional referendum to submit a new draft of the constitution to a popular vote on June 27 (three days after St. Jean Baptiste Feast Day, which St. Philippians usually celebrate in Haiti with our sister church). However, this vote was postponed due to the pandemic with no new date given, further deepening the country’s political crisis. Insecurity arising from an increase in gang violence and kidnappings for ransom is complicating the situation even more.
Because of the political unrest and the increasing COVID-19 numbers, St. Philippians will not be able to visit our sister church again this year. So, instead of packing our bags (lots of bags) and traveling there in person, we have been filming a video of St. Philip’s parishioners sharing their love and continued support for our friends in Haiti. Thank you to all those kind St. Philippians who allowed me to video them on the spur of the moment. Hopefully, when the priest in charge, Père Vil, visits St. Jean Baptiste on June 24, he will be able to take us with him virtually by showing our video on WhatsApp to the members of the church there.
In spite of the trials Haitians are facing, our friends on the island of La Gonâve remain hopeful and continue to trust the Lord for their future.
Here are a few of the good things happening in Haiti:
Our partners have built a new middle school. Located in Palma, it will be close enough for St. Jean Baptiste to send their 7th-, 8th-, and 9th-grade students. The students were only able to attend school until 6th grade before.
The construction phase of the Mary and Martha Middle School in Palma.
There are plans to build a new fence around the church and school that will help with security and also with proper drainage to prevent erosion.
So please keep our friends in your prayers. Pray for the country to find political stability. Pray for the world to provide vaccines for Haiti, to help protect them from COVID-19 virus and variants. Pray for protection from hurricanes for Haiti and South Carolina.
More good news: Haiti beat Nicaragua 1 to 0 in the first round of the World Cup qualifiers. All Haitians will be cheering their team on! Go, Haiti!