Most of you are aware that there has been ongoing turmoil, with really no end in sight, in Haiti for months now. We have had sporadic bursts of rioting and destruction, there have been months of trouble with brief respites but then things flare up again. The rioters hope to cripple the already struggling country, adding insult to a very difficult situation for the people, and they seem to be winning, though not sure this could be called a situation from which anyone emerges a victor.
Dan, Micah and I had planned to go to Haiti on March 9 with a team of eye students and their leader, as well as a couple who would work on repairs of the Radio Lumiere station on the compound. However, with all the violence and uncertainty, they have elected to not go at this time, though we 3 still are hopeful that things may calm down and allow us to go and work. The clinic has been slow, as few patients dare risk the roads to make it to be seen. We also have not had any fuel deliveries, etc, so things are becoming more tense all over Haiti. We certainly would not want to go if they could not get fuel, etc, as surgery takes more diesel to run the generator, if the patients could even make it out to the hospital. Government power, never a very reliable thing for the few hours they do give it, undoubtedly is non existent at present. So, things at the hospital need prayer and direction.
I spoke with Dr. Moise yesterday, he states that essentially no vehicles are on the road as the rioters in many towns are burning the vehicles to show their displeasure with the situation, again, something not easily remedied. As a result, prices have skyrocketed, the goude/USD ratio was 74:1 when we were there last month, it is now 84:1 from what I hear and most food supplies come from outside Haiti, thus sensitive to the exchange rate. Plus, even if it is brought in, it cannot go anywhere from Port very safely, so food is scarce in market, etc.
So, we ask for prayer for a peaceful, more long term solution to the problem, so that those of us who want to help are able to. There are always promises for discussions to resolve things, pray that they will happen soon and be productive, before even more suffer and/or die as a result of the conflicts. Pray for wisdom for us 3 as we consider whether or not to go on the 9th. My friend Jon Roberts, a doctor who brings medical teams in each year has a team of 23 providers and other workers from Missouri scheduled to go this Saturday and has to make a decision in 2 days, in conjunction with the Wrays, where he bases the operation. We coordinate things with them as they send us surgeries that they find in the villages, so they are always a great asset to all concerned. It will be a blow to all concerned if this has to be cancelled, possibly for the year, as medical providers cannot juggle schedules all that easily.
Bill, Dan and Micah