Crises in Haiti Have Profound Effect on South, including Collège Lumière
This is undoubtedly the most difficult blog post I’ve ever written. It’s been just three weeks since Pastor Sam, Aunald, and Naomie kicked-off Collège Lumière’s inaugural school year, and already they’ve had to close the school due to the deteriorating conditions in their country.
We pray it’s just temporary!
The current fuel crisis in Haiti is the cause, halting all travel since there’s no gasoline to be found. Students in the upper grades, many of whom ride motos or take public transportation to school, can’t get there. Which means most schools have closed. Businesses and hospitals are likewise shut down because there’s no electricity to operate lights, computers, equipment or machinery. In a country where the national electrical grid is unstable at best and simply unavailable to most, fuel powers the generators that keep everything running. At Collège Lumière, for example, it powers the generators that replaced the roof-top solar system when the earthquake destroyed the system’s storage batteries.
Unfortunately, the fuel crisis is just one in a tall stack of crises threatening this small island nation. At the root of the fuel crisis is the gang crisis which has gangs controlling more than 50% of the capital Port-au-Prince, including the only routes in and out of the city by which fuel can travel. It’s these gangs who are responsible for the kidnapping last week of 17 missionaries (16 Americans + 1 Canadian) which has drawn so much media attention here in the USA.
As leaders of the Haiti Ministry of Mariners Church, Dave and I scour news articles daily from a wide variety of sources so as to remain up-to-date on current events. Dave also communicates weekly, if not daily, with Pastor Samuel directly to verify that what we read is true. In the past, Sam has always said to us, “Yes, but that’s in Port-au-Prince. We’re doing OK here in the south.” But recently, that’s changed. These current crises are threatening all of Haiti, including the south, and everyone is concerned.
If you’d like to learn more, we recommend these two recent news clips and articles:
‘Morally, They Are Lost’: Gangs in Haiti, Breaking a Taboo, Target the Church (New York Times, Oct. 22, 2021)
Amid a cascade of crises, Haiti’s fuel shortage could be the worst (CNN, Oct. 2 6, 2021)