A New Travel Advisory for Haiti
First things first...Our ATN Documentary Premier/Annual Fundraiser will be May 21 at 7:00pm at Murray Hill Theatre in Jacksonville. Click Here to buy tickets and for more info. Along with the in-person event, we will have other ways to participate in the event virtually and through social media, so there is no excuse not to see this documentary!
In addition to that premier night, we have churches in Jacksonville and LaGrange who are going to show the film that same night and different nights the following week. We know that Arlington Baptist and RiverTown in Jacksonville along with FBC and Clearview Chapel in Lagrange are showing the film, please let me know if you or your church is interested as well! This is an important night for ATN, so we hope you will consider participating and inviting others.
Now, to the topic of the blog. Yesterday, I received a new "STEP Notification" from the US embassy in Haiti. It started out stating that Haiti is still under a Level 4 Travel Advisory. That was followed up by the Covid issues that Americans could face in Haiti and the proceeded to talk about the other issues in the country.
The difficult part of reading this is knowing that, pre-Covid, Haiti was already considered a Level 4 travel risk and even without Covid it would be the same. Someone recently asked me if Haiti was getting safer and if I thought teams could start coming again soon. The short answer to that question is a resounding "no."
You may recall in February of 2019 and the months following that Haiti was under a lot of pressure from rivaling political and social groups. There were riots and manifestations everywhere, and the entire country was shut down for 2 weeks straight. We have not brought a single team down since. You could hear gunshots nightly, see 15-20 helicopters daily coming to pick up Americans to get them home, and school was cancelled in Haiti for the entire year.
It is currently at least as bad right now in Haiti as it was then. Things are a little more subtle in terms of international coverage and media and school is still in session, but the climate and danger in the country rivals that 2 week span in February 2019. I will not go into details, you can look it up and read about with a simple google search, but I do not want to undersell what is going on in Haiti currently.
Our desire right now is that everyone reading this would pray for this nation and recruit as many other people to do the same. Too often we say things like, "Let me say a quick prayer" or "all we can do is prayer" but those 2 things are misleading, almost like they are not important. Prayer is all we can do to help Haiti, but not in a bad way. Approaching the GOD of the universe to step in and help Haiti is 100% precisely what is needed.
I am really glad that we can show you guys this documentary so that you can see the kids and get a glimpse of life in Haiti. At the same time, how sad is it that it has come to that? That the only way to be a part of their lives right now is to watch them on a screen. Let's pray that this time next year we are bringing down our 3rd team of the year to spend some time with our kids at All Things New!