Gangs in Haiti Move North, Attack Cabaret
Things in Haiti are not getting better. In fact, with each passing day, there seems to be worse news about what is going on in the country, and we continue to wait for the day that some sort of international intervention will take place.
Recently, a city in Haiti called Cabaret has been under siege. Cabaret is roughly the same distance from the airport as All Things New, just in the opposite direction.
To get to All Things New from the airport, you have to pass through an area of Port Au Prince called Martissant. This is one of the most dangerous, gang-controlled areas of the country, and there is no way to by-pass it to get to our side of the island.
Since the situation in Haiti began to devolve back in 2019, my fear has been that the chaos from Martissant and Port Au Prince would find its way to Gressier (the city where ATN is). So far, those fears have remained fairly unfounded in large part due to the rural nature of a long stretch of road going west of Port Au Prince before arriving in Leogane.
Those north of the airport have not been as fortunate.
If you are reading this and live in Jacksonville, Cabaret may be a city that you are familiar with. When we began All Things New, almost every church with which I had a relationship in Jacksonville was already involved in Haiti. Specifically, the JBA was partnered with a ministry in Cabaret, Haiti called Cabaret Mission Haiti.
In fact, in 2002, about 3 months before Jessica and I went out on our first date, we went to Haiti together on a mission trip to...You guessed it...Cabaret, Haiti. We began dating as a direct result of that week long trip to Cabaret around Christmas time in 2002, so this city holds a special place in our hearts.
That trip was my first international mission trip and it introduced me to a culture and a country that I would later spend a huge portion of my life in.
Today, and over the last few weeks, that country and potentially that ministry in Cabaret have been under siege from Haitian gangs.
You may have seen in the news today about citizens in Port Au Prince fighting back against gangs, but that is not the common storyline.
There are unsubstantiated reports, things we have heard from people on the ground but none that we have seen with our own eyes, of gangs burning down homes, committing mass murder, and taking over entire compounds and parts of Cabaret.
Our friends, you can see their website by clicking here, at Cabaret Haiti Mission are in the midst of the chaos. By all reports they are ok for now, but things in Cabaret have gone downhill quickly, and we are praying hard for them.
I mentioned before that the idea of this happening is one of my worst fears for our kids. The idea that the violence, kidnappings, and murders have gone that far outside of the capitol and reached Cabaret is absolutely terrifying for me.
I am scared for our friends in that city, but it also reminds me that our kids and our employees are not safe. We need to continue to pray for them in so many ways, but one of the real and tangible ways that we need to pray is simply for safety!
Last week, I wrote about living each day to the fullest for GOD, and in that sense there is always a part of us that should consider every moment that we have is a blessing.
For our friends in Cabaret, our brothers and sisters in Haiti, and our kids and employees at All Things New, that reality is how they live every single day.