I mentioned in the last post that we have had to cancel all of our teams starting in February of 2019 and we are not accepting new teams right now either. The last blog explains why, but the truth is that no organizations (other than medical orgs who need doctors) should be accepting short term teams right now. There may be an occasional exception, but there is a reason that Haiti has been placed on a Level 4 Travel Advisory and bringing teams down right now is not a good idea.
For many different reasons, teams are important to All Things New and to many other organizations in Haiti as well. But it is more important, right now, for us to be safe and smart about how we operate. Before I get to the rest of the blog, I want to highlight the 3 ways that you can help (as were mentioned in the previous blog):
- Become a sponsor if you are not one yet! If you are, please help us recruit. Face-to-face, social media, or even through your small group at church, we need to make sure we continue to seek after new sponsors.
- Share and Advertise. We want to keep All Things New at the forefront of people’s minds. Share our posts! Write about your own experience with All Things New either on your social media or by sending a guest blog to us. Go to our Facebook page right now and click the blue link on the right side of the page that says “Invite Friends” and invite all of your friends to like our page!
- Give. If you have recently received your tax refund, received a quarterly bonus, or just would like to help us recoup some of the money we will be missing out on during this time of no teams, just click here.
Many of you may understand the effects that this travel advisory and the political conditions in Haiti are having on All Things New. To a much greater extent, however, this situation continues to affect Haiti in a hugely negative way. Here are some of the worst things Haiti is experiencing now:
- A continued and further devaluation of the Gourde (Haitian Currency). Since we raise funds in dollars and pay our employees in dollars, this devaluation is not affecting ATN as much. For the average Haitian, however, prices of staple goods, school, etc. are doubling and tripling while they are bringing in the same amount. The poverty that existed even a year ago is nothing to what is being experienced right now.
- Tourism and Short Term Mission Teams are virtually non-existent. While Haiti has not enjoyed the same amount of tourism growth that every other locale in the Caribbean has, right now nobody is coming. Hotels are having to close down, foreign non profits and ministries are not bringing teams which means they are not purchasing supplies, and really any Haitian who worked for any type of organization in hospitality is in danger of not having work if the travel advisory and political climate persist.
- Increased Gang Activity. When chaos reigns, it seems like evil always tries to gain a foothold. This is the case in Haiti right now. For the past year, we have heard about new gang wars, new gang leaders, and increased violence between gangs and the police.
- General Uneasiness. There is definitely an atmosphere of unrest and fear that something could happen in the country at many moment to cause even more chaos. It is hard to explain unless you are there or unless you have experienced something like this firsthand. People are not just walking around waiting for the other shoe to drop, but the atmosphere of the whole country is different.
There are other issues as well, but the political and social issues that have come about based on what is happening in Haiti is mind-blowing. The bottom line is…PLEASE PRAY FOR HAITI! These obstacles can seem insurmountable, but I am praying that by January 2020 things have gotten back to normal and we can start bringing our teams down again. It can happen, but please just join me in prayer for Haiti and her people.