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September 2019
 
Dear Friends in Christ,
Once again, the Haitian people are struggling. Please pray for them and the missionaries who are ministering to them. Many of you know, Haiti has been in violent turmoil the past few months. This is the result of fuel prices going up. Demonstrations and violence have become the “norm” on the streets. This is very sad for the average working person there. With that in mind, Kenny wrote a field report:
Since last July, Haiti has been in a fuel crunch. With no fuel refineries, fuel must be shipped in. Many problems arise from this, especially when there are no fuel ships coming in. Some people take advantage of the situation. Some truckers buy large quantities of fuel to hold from stations and are paying the attendant a bribe, which allows them to purchase a lot. They wait until the stations are completely out and raise prices to 3-4 times higher than it would be normally. Other fuel truckers will take the truck home, empty half of it into barrels and then refill the rest of the truck with water before offloading it in the gas stations. The list just goes on.
Riots and protests take to the streets blocking them with burning tires, dragging trees across the roads and dumping truckloads of rock and gravel into the streets. Men will stand guard to make sure people don’t go through. They hold machetes or rocks to throw at cars or people trying to go through. During this last year, this type of problem has flared up multiple times.
Last Sunday, Laissa, Trey and I were coming back to Lussade’s home from church. (We have been staying at his home because he is located where it is a little easier to get to a grocery store, buy fuel, get mail or go to either of the OSM schools) We encountered the tires burning and rocks all over the road. But nobody was standing guard, so I kept going until we got back up to Petionville. We ran into traffic that was turning around, so we did too. We decided to take another route. The entrance to the road was mostly blocked with rocks & tree branches. Some cars were going through an opening. Seeing no guards, I did the same. Suddenly, a man came running to stand in the way and stop us. He had a large rock ready to throw it at our windshield. He was quickly joined by other men. He began yelling that he would stone my vehicle and me if I moved forward. I could tell that he was very serious, as was my situation. Thankfully, we were able to leave, going to a grocery store parking lot close by.
I called Laissa’s cousin, Kaloulou, who came and took us up the road as it was safer for him to be driving than me. I have felt being nervous before, but this was a new level. It was the worst I've ever experienced in my life. I think having Laissa and Trey in the car added to it. I praise the Lord for keeping us safe through all these difficult times. Travel problems have made schools across Haiti delayed getting started. Plans are for OSM’s school in Merebalais to begin the first Monday of October, the Lord willing. There will be a 3-week delay. Laissa and I would ask you to continue to keep our family and the country of Haiti in your prayers. We are grateful for your prayers and knowing we are in God’s hands.
Debbi and I have found another month full of plans that weren't going to happen. In the past, when we have hosted teams, we have informed them to be prepared for plans that can change many times over, whether going to Haiti or Mexico. The past few months our lives have been that way. However, we are grateful to the Lord for His constant care for our family! Debbi and I went to Florida hoping that I would be able to go to Haiti to assist Kenny with the school set up in Mirebalais. Once we got to Florida, we realized that the situation was such that Kenny could not get things done, much less me arrive and accomplish our projects. So, I went back to my friend Vernon Stevenson’s home and he helped me get a better grasp of welding some of the parts for the benches/pews.
The Sunday morning Kenny shared with us regarding his report, we were just seated in church with our nephew Kelly. We received a text from Kenny that read “start praying now. Trying to get home, road is hot”. Knowing how fast things can go bad there, you can imagine how the fear of the Lord went through both of us. We began praying and sent out texts to some family and friends who we knew would quickly pray. Receiving many responses was very encouraging. Then, the sermon we began hearing was about going out of our comfort zones to reach others and knowing that Jesus Christ is there with us. It reassured us that no matter what situation Kenny, Laissa and Trey were in, Jesus was right there with them! Wow! Within about 30 minutes, we knew he was away from the problems and they were fine. Praise the Lord! He is our Rock and Shield!
It was disappointing I couldn’t go back to Haiti this month, however, I might be able to go in October. Debbi and I are waiting to see how things go there. Kenny is still trying to get to Mirebalais to set up for the school to begin . He had planned to go, but again, street violence kept him from traveling.
As we traveled home from Florida, we drove by many homes, churches and businesses in east Texas that were flooded. The bridge on the east side of Houston is out and we had to get off of I-10. This 4-hour delay was such a small issue compared to what the people in that area are facing. Please pray for the families of flood victims in that area and in Ti-Guave Haiti, where many homes were flooded, and lives turned upside down. When we have a roof over our heads and a meal on the table, we have much for which to thank the Lord!! We pray His blessings over you and your families!
Because of Christ,