Planning For The Future
Many of you are very curious about what is going on with the missionaries who were kidnapped, and there is no good news. Be in prayer for all 17 missionaries as they are going on 18 days of captivity. Also, be in prayer for the more than 700 other kidnappings that have occurred in Haiti since the beginning of the year and the fear and insecurity this causes in the population.
Planning for the future is always difficult even in the best of circumstances. You try to take as much into account as possible and you want to be realistic while leaving yourself room to dream and room to accomplish great things. This goes for individuals and for organizations.
But, how do you plan for the future when the present is complete chaos? How do you plan for the future when you can only get past the day with the resources you have? How do you plan for the future when nothing is guaranteed and everything around you seems to be in disarray?
Yesterday, we had our first “Vision Recasting” meeting for All Things New. The idea is that, as our kids continue to get older and things change, we have to change as well to make sure that we are doing what is best for them and for our employees at all times.
Throughout our history, we have had plans, ideas, and visions and some of them have come to fruition and some of them have changed. The nature of doing work and ministry in a foreign context is that you learn things along the way and you have to shift what you do, but we always want to be moving forward.
After our first meeting, we are not ready to start rolling out our new vision of what the future of ATN will look like, but this thought kept rolling through my mind as we talked about how to communicate our plans and goals for the future.
Almost nobody in Haiti can do what we are doing for our kids right now!
You cannot plan, at least not effectively, for your future in Haiti. Think about it:
- If you are a student, and your plan includes finishing school, there is no way to know if your parents will be able to afford 13 years of schooling. For the past 3 years, schools have missed significant amounts of time without ever recouping the missed days. Education is getting more expensive, people are not making more money, and there are very very few free schools.
- If you started a moto or taxi business, then you need the money that you make every single day to survive and to continue operating your business. All of a sudden, there is no gas in the country, riots nationwide have made people stay in their home, and you are not even making enough money to pay for the motorcycle anymore.
- If you sell things in the market, the same problems exist. People are poorer now than they were even last year, and it is difficult for people to even leave their homes out of fear of kidnappings and danger on the streets.
The bottom line is how can Haitians plan for the future when their present is so fraught with danger, insecurity, and chaos? So as we sat around and talked about what we want our kids to do, it made me realize how blessed we are to have that opportunity.
When we discussed the idea of going to english school, vocational school, getting into our computer coding program, etc., all I could think about was how different this must be compared to what most people in Haiti are talking about.
If you are reading this, you have had a lot to do with making this happen. Whether it be through prayer, donations, encouragement, sponsorship, trips to Haiti, etc. Things may change, and our planning/dreaming meetings may come to fruition and some of them may not, but we at least can dream. We at least can plan for the future of our kids.
Here are 2 things I would say to you:
1. Thank you. Without you, our kids would be struggling to live life day-by-day. They would be in the midst of the chaos, but they are not!
2. Pray. Especially for those who can only focus on today and have very little worldly hope for tomorrow.