A Glance Back at 2023
As another year comes to a close, I’m optimistic and hopeful. There have been many difficult times in Haiti, but 2023 has been one of the most challenging years ever. BUT GOD has continued to bless.
Since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse on July 7th, 2021, the country has descended into chaos. Ariel Henry, the much-contested Prime Minister, has been largely ineffective against the violent gangs that are ruling much of the country.
In 2023 alone, nearly 2,500 people have been killed and over 200,000 have been displaced as these gangs forced people from their homes. There have been instances where whole communities received letters giving them one week to vacate their homes. The bloodshed that followed was unimaginable as citizens formed militias and fought to save their communities. We were faced with evacuating the Children’s Home on three different occasions, and we actually did once. One day, the police brought five bullets and promised to bring a gun that evening. They were certain that our community would fall that night, and they were powerless to stop it. BUT GOD had other plans.
I’ve always loved the expression, “…but God”. It’s so apropos to the situation we have found ourselves in these last few years – so often facing dire circumstances that just simply vanished. I don’t mean to diminish the experience of others who haven’t been as fortunate or suggest that God wasn’t watching over them, I just mean to give glory to God for protecting us and acknowledge that He works EVERYTHING together for good (Romans 8:28).
Another difficulty that has been brought about by the vacuum of leadership in Haiti is massive inflation. As the gangs have taken control of the roads and the movement of goods, everything has become increasingly more expensive. Of course, the violence and threat of kidnappings has also made it impossible to safely host teams for the past several years. Unfortunately, this has led to a decrease in awareness, and therefore, a decline in support.
Currently, we are behind on payroll; and we have had to stop the feeding programs in our schools (for many school children, this was their only meal some days). Our top priority is feeding the 40+ children in our home and then paying our employees. We were so blessed to receive $9,525 on Giving Tuesday, which was 38% of our $25,000 goal! THANK YOU to all of you who gave so generously! Those funds have already been sent to Haiti to buy food and other needs. Times are tough, I know. We have struggles of our own here in the U.S., so I’m even more grateful (if that’s possible), for those who sacrifice to continue helping those in need.
You may be well acquainted with 1 John 3:17, which says, “But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?” As we approach the end of 2023 and you consider year-end giving, I know you have many options. Those who give generally give on multiple fronts, but I ask you to prayerfully consider giving to Cabaret Haiti Mission.
We have set the goal of raising $25,000 again. These goals are, of course, just a number; but the many children and employees behind them are not. They are precious souls the Lord has entrusted to us, and every dollar given will go a long way towards feeding and clothing orphans, providing education, paying hard-working employees, and bringing hope to a community that has suffered so much.
Thank you again, and as the Haitians say, ”God will bless you more!”