Today, I received a letter via e-mail from a good friend of mine regarding the current declining conditions in Haiti. My friend received this letter from Pastor Henoc, a Hatian pastor whom I have had the privilege to meet and hear preach.
Pastor Henoc is a Man of God and a powerful preacher of the Gospel. As you read his letters below, please pray for the people of Haiti as well as Pastor Henoc and his ministry.
In Pastor Henoc’s own words:
“I arrived in Santiago, DR on Tuesday morning and proceeded to the drive from Santiago to Dajabon. Guerline met me with at the border and from then it was for me to join the problems of that Haiti faces.
The price of food has risen so high over the past months that people are starving to the point where they are feeling like they cannot stand it any longer. So there has been organized revolts against the government. Since Tuesday, banks have been closed. In Port au Prince, Cayes, and other parts of the country, there are lootings in markets and places where foods are stored. There are reports of death among policemen and UN soldiers who opened fire at each other over discussions on how to handle the people.
In Pignon, where my parents live, there has been tire burning, blockades, rock throwing. There has been no school in some parts of the country. In Cap-Haitien, there is an apparent calm. However, at night, it’s dangerous with rock throwing and bottle throwing all over the streets. During the day, the police has been active in keeping the calm, but in the evening there are problems. The banks have still been close but school goes on every day. We have problems because we cannot get fuel at the station, since the stations get their fuel from Port au Prince.
I can understand the struggles of the people. I think that we must find a way to at least help the people we serve in the different churches with the provision of food for their survival. Please pray for God’s provision.”
In Christ, Henoc
“There has been continued problems in the country. Yesterday (Saturday) Haiti’s Senate unanimously voted to fire the Prime Minister and his cabinet members. This was done against the wishes of President Preval. Now, we don’t know what the next step is. It will probably takes more time to get things organized and moving.
There has been confrontations between Haitian Police and UN soldiers. At least two times this past week, there has been exchange of fire killing people from both sides.
The politic of the Preval Government is to raise taxes as a way to increase our Gross National Product. We don’t produce, but the government taxes the people a lot. The merchant buys the product overseas and has to pay a high custom tax and then has to sell it at a high price in order to make a profit. In December, we paid 125 dollars for a sac of rice weighing 50 lbs. Now it is 200 dollars. That is Haitian dollars. One friend told me that he used to pay 1HTD tax on a bag of corn flour. Now, he pays 14. The government charges more for everything from license plate for vehicle to property tax and everything. They are squeezing the people out so much that it seems like they are trying to get water out of the rock.
There is a lot of frustrations and anger against the UN as people feel like the funds that the International Community used to give Haiti in Economic aid package each year is now used to support up to Eleven Thousands UN soldiers. Thus removing much needed aids and relief from the common people.
People are angry, frustrated, hungry and humiliated.
1. There are containers in the dock which has been there since October, November. One merchant
told me that he has five containers sitting there since October.
2. We need to see how many people we are serving in order to determine
a. College Susan Schuenke 538 students. About 40 staff and teachers.
b. EFC of Cap-Haitien: About 450-500 people
c. EFC of Berard: About 350-400 people
d. Grace Evangelical Church of Grande Riviere du Nord: About 250 people
The leadership team of each church organizes together with Pastor Henoc how to best deliver food into the area and the leadership team excecutes the deliveries.
3. Last time we did food distribution, we gave each family unit:
One 50lbs sac of rice….. 50 USD
One gallon of Oil………….. 10 USD
One portion of beans…….. 15 USD
100 Haitian dollars……….. 15 USD
That subsidize them for a period of three to four week depending on the family size.
4. Inflation went up 12 just during the month of February according to Government reports.”