I do not have the answers!!! There. I said it. Haiti continues to be a mélange of complexities as the vast majority of people here are just trying to live their lives. Let’s visit some of the difficult situations that are rearing their ugly heads in Haiti currently:
For the last year or more, gangs have controlled many roads and ports here in Haiti, making some areas impassable. This disrupts the ability for much of the population to get to different areas of the island, which makes commerce very difficult.
In the last few years, gasoline and sometimes diesel has been scarce, often due to the inability of the gas trucks to move through the roads from the ports to other areas of the island. Movement throughout the island has been extremely limited due to this situation.
Haiti has been in the grips of double-digit inflation in the last couple of years, due to various factors, often beyond my comprehension. Salary increases for those lucky enough to have employment have not begun to stay current with the rate of inflation. Food insecurity and malnutrition is rampant.
While Haiti did not have the same severity of disease as some countries, the presence of COVID presented medical challenges, lost lives, and added pressures to an already overburdened medical community.
In July, the president of Haiti, Jovenel Moise, was assassinated. There are many questions that remain as to the “who” and the “why” of this crime, but regardless, it created a leadership void that still remains.
On August 14, 2021, a huge earthquake focused its destruction on the southern part of Haiti. Many lives were lost and significant damage was caused to structures throughout the southern part of the country.
In September of this year, many planeloads of Haitians were sent back to Haiti from the border of the US and Mexico. This is a complex situation that has many solutions offered, but certainly has not helped to improve circumstances here for those returned nor for a country that has so many challenges already.
While there has been a rash of kidnappings over the last several months, the increasingly brazen attitude of the kidnappers and the abduction of a large group of American/Canadian citizens has caught the attention of the American press. The fear of traveling through certain areas where kidnappers rule has further inhibited movement around the country.
Again, I state: I don’t have the answers! I don’t understand how one small country can endure so many levels of hardship. I don’t understand how our Haitian friends are to continue as the pressures of this world smother them. Our missionary friends are leaving one by one, as the problems of living here mount. Missionaries usually have a choice to leave. Most of our Haitian friends do not.
Sometimes it is difficult to remain hopeful. Sometimes it is tempting to just return to our roots where so many of these challenges are not the norm. We have had things stolen, been threatened, been misunderstood, and been physically challenged. Sometimes we want to give up.
But, then we remember a God who called us here who sent His son, who not only was falsely accused but also was abused and killed on behalf of His love for all of us. It doesn’t make the situation easier, but gives us hope based upon His promise of a life beyond all of this, which makes this all pale in comparison. I pray all of us can bask in that hope. That is the only answer I seem to know.
People are often unreasonable, and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you.
Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough.
Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.
-Attributed to Mother Teresa