This past Sunday, we arrived back in America. Normally this would not be a big deal because we come back and forth from Haiti pretty regularly. However, if you have been keeping up with our blogs (There is a series of 6 so click on the number to read each of them: Blog 1, Blog 2, Blog 3, Blog 4, Blog 5, Blog 6) then you know us coming home was an incredible thing. There are so many stories to tell from what it was like when Haiti was on “lock down” to how we got Ezekyal’s Visa to traveling into Port 2 days in a row to make sure we had it in hand. Some of the stories we will only tell face-to-face while others we will write about, but we did want to let you know that we are back in America for now.
The most important thing we want to do is to say thank you.
Thank you for your prayers first and foremost, thank you for following our story, thank you for reaching out to contacts to help us get an emergency Visa appointment, and thank you for always supporting All Things New and in turn our family! I cannot express how much it means to me that we have so many of you behind us as we do ministry together in Haiti.
I also wanted to update you on what has been going on in Haiti lately and how we will proceed with our ministry. As much as I know you were concerned about our family and how we were going to get out of Haiti with our 3 small children, I know you are equally concerned about the kids and employees of All Things New. Here are some things that you should know:
- There has been peace in Haiti for the past week, but we do not believe it will last. There were big protests in July, November, December, and then this last round starting on Feb. 7. The opposition wants the President to step down and he has not, so things will start up again.
- All of our March and April teams have cancelled and if they had not we would have cancelled for them. We have a team that is scheduled in May and there is a good chance that they will need to cancel as well.
- Our kids and employees are doing well. When the riots were at their worst and food was hard to come by, we purchased a few large bags of rice and beans, a few gallons of oil, and a lot of spaghetti and gave each of our employees and their families enough to get by for about a week. We continue to stay overstocked with food and supplies at the orphanage to make sure our kids are taken care of.
- Food prices have skyrocketed and do not show any signs of going down. This will affect ATN to an extent, but it will affect our employees and our community greatly. There is some food aid coming into Haiti, but this very rarely finds its way into the hands of people who really need it.
- Gas is in very low supply and in many places around Haiti is almost impossible to find.
- The value of Haitian Currency remains at an all time low and it will take time and an infusion of American dollars in the short term and increased in-country production and exports in the long term to change this. In the meantime, this will greatly affect the average Haitian in a very negative way.
- Our family is safe here in America, and I believe it was very necessary for us to return. As you know, we were waiting on a Visa for Ezekyal, and he was granted a 5 year Visa which really frees us up to know that when things get bad in Haiti, we can all come to America.
- I will be going back to Haiti by myself sometime in March to check in on everyone and to make sure everything is being taken care of.
The truth is, we are relieved to be here in America but at the same time we are grieving the fact that we are here right now under these circumstances. As Americans and especially as Americans with very young children, it was important from a safety perspective for us to leave, but as people who love our kids and the country we are praying that things are resolved quickly. Thank you again for all of your prayers and for everything else you have done to make this possible.
Please continue to pray for All Things New and for Haiti in general in the coming weeks and months. Haiti is currently on a Level 4 Travel advisory from the US State Department. To put that into perspective, the other 12 countries on a Level 4 are North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Mali, Turkey, and Lybia. This is not a list that any country wants to be on, but it does show you the current climate in Haiti. Please pray for GOD’s Hand and Guidance in the coming days and weeks and let’s pray that everything gets back to normal.