My Observations in Haiti
It had been quite a while since I had been back down to Haiti, but I was able to spend this past week with our kids, our employees, and running some errands to get ready for the start of school. It was great being back down at All Things New, and I thought I would share some of the things that I noticed in Haiti and with our kids while I was down there.
The Kids Are Great! This is the first and most important thing. Even after being stuck at the orphanage for months and missing almost an entire year of school, they are good. I had a great time doing service each night, playing soccer, playing basketball, hanging out at their house, watching movies, playing xBox, and just spending time together.
The Employees Are Doing a Great Job. We have 2 new employees that Lener and Gina hired during Covid and all of our other employees are back at work now as well. They continue to be the reason we can get work accomplished here in the states and not worry about how All Things New will function in Haiti.
Makenson Started His First Computer Job. This has been a long time in the making, but Makenson started his first job for Arlington Baptist Church this past Monday. We have 3 other coders who have finished their program and are waiting for us to find them jobs as well. There is more to come on this, but it is a really exciting development.
Haiti Looks As Bad As I Have Ever Seen It. Driving through the streets of Port Au Prince is worse than I have ever seen. There is trash everywhere, more holes in the road by at least double, and there are far fewer people out than I have ever seen. It was sad to see how the events of the past 2 years have effected country.
The Exchange Rate is Really Hurting People. The exchange rate is now about 60 or 65 to 1 compared to 118 to 1 only about 4 weeks ago. Some goods have gone down in price slightly but most are the same price as they were when the exchange rate was higher. There is such a high percentage of people who are reliant on the American dollar in Haiti that this drastic change has affected almost everyone negatively. For All Things New, our school costs will more than double this year and our weekly food costs could easily move from about $300 to upwards of $500 if this rate stays where it is.
Pray For Haiti. There are threats of new manifestations and riots especially around schools restarting in November. There has not been an operating government in almost 1 year and there are no concrete plans to elect one. Many people want the President to step down in February, but he will remain in power for 1 more year. Add the economic woes and a rumored gas shortage and things could turn bad at any moment. Let's pray that they do not.
Pray For All Things New. Over the past few months we have tried to keep costs down and not have to ask for additional donations while our economy has been affected by Covid. Over the next few months, however, some of our fundraising efforts will be more important than ever. We will take part in Giving Tuesday (December 1) again and we hope to have matching opportunities like you have seen in the past. We are trying to plan a hybrid fundraiser in March that everyone can take part in together no matter where you are located, and we hope you will take part in that. The bottom line is we need your prayers already that GOD would bless these efforts, especially as the exchange rate has hit 60, and allow us to continue to grow our ministry.