Please read the letters below from Pastor Henoc and Greg Schuenke, which address the current situation in Haiti as a result of severe fuel shortages and attempts to overthrow the current president.
From Pastor Henoc
Dear Friends in the Lord:
I arrived in Haiti on Thursday, October 10th. The city looked empty, dirty, and very somber. I quickly traveled from the airport to the church for a wake service for a member of the Cap-Haitien church who had just passed away. At about 9:00 PM, the city was so dark. Even the hotels and restaurants were closed. I soon became the only customer at Mont Joli hotel. Just a few days ago, this same hotel was attacked and is now closed.
At 9:00 AM on the 11th, we rushed to the church for the funeral. Things were done very fast to avoid dangerous demonstrations. The city got crazy by 10:00 AM with tire burnings, rock throwings, and shootings. I had to ride a taxi motorcycle to go home by midday.
On Sunday we went to church, but due to fear, we went home. Monday was time to go see my ill mother in Pignon. On the way back, we were stopped at gunpoint by a group of gangs. They wanted to take away our containers of gasoline. After much discussion, they decided to let me go out of respect for me as the pastor of the community. Unfortunately for these men, the police came a short time after, and a couple of them were killed.
My work has been hindered by a lack of transportation. I have no vehicle and no fuel even when one can be borrowed. At night time, a lot of shootings make it dangerous to travel. Yesterday I was able to find a vehicle to use. However, on my way home it caught on fire. I barely got out with the help of some good Samaritans. We are not sure what caused the fire.
Conditions continue to be bad in Cap-Haitien. A few days ago, pro- and anti-government gangs were fighting. As a result, several people were killed and many houses burned down, including our Business Manager Patrick’s parents’ home in the neighborhood of Conasa. His parents are physically okay but, as you can imagine, they have lost everything. Please lift them up in your prayers.
People in Haiti provide for their families through daily routine activities. They go out on the streets to buy and sell merchandise, sell food to school children, and provide Taptap (transportation) services. By the end of the day, they might have something to take home to feed their children. More than 6 weeks have passed with unsafe streets and armed robberies, creating a humanitarian crisis; people in our churches cannot take care of their families. We seek to minister to the needy families by providing food aid.
This is a time of discouragement in Haiti as the country goes through cycles of violence and despair. In spite of all that, we thank the Lord for the privilege to serve and to be used by Him.
Please pray for us and for Haiti.
From Greg Schuenke
Reading Pastor Henoc’s report, you can feel his heart for his people and his country. There is real danger and despair. Haiti groans beneath crushing desperation and fear. In all of this, Vision of Hope Ministries remains focused on bringing hope in the name of Jesus Christ.
I am asking for your help. We need a dependable vehicle for Pastor Henoc. We sent a previous request to you for the purchase of a used Ford F-250 diesel truck, and this is now more essential than before. The collapse of the institution of government and the shortage of fuel and food are causing a serious hunger crisis for those we care for within our Haitian churches. We want to bring some relief to our most needy families by delivering food aid of 25 lbs of rice, one gallon cooking oil, and one sack of beans. The total cost to provide for one family is $35 USD.
Church leadership will identify widows and families with small children as our top priority for aid; about 250 families. Beyond that, the number of families we can help will depend on the financial support that we receive. Funds will go directly to Pastor Henoc and our Haitian leadership who will then purchase and disperse the food.
I ask that you consider the truck and food aid in addition to VOHM’s ongoing operating budget requirements. The ministry work we do is more vital than ever in these perilous times, and our operating budget provides the resources to keep our daily work funded. I know this is a lot to ask, and you have already been so gracious in supporting God’s work. We are thankful for you and your generosity.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9
8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
Please keep our ministry team in your prayers so they are not crushed, not in despair, and not abandoned.
Please do not forget Haiti.