Why We Canceled Our Groups
Many of you keep up with All Things New through our blog, our Facebook page, or our email communications and Newsletter. Because of this, you have probably read about some of the issues that Haiti has been facing over the past few months. I am not going to recap everything that has been going on. If you want to read more, please feel free to click the following links and read some of our older blogs (July Unrest, December Unrest, February Lockdown, February Gas Shortage). The truth is, while there have not been as many protests and the country has not been on lockdown again like it was in February, things are not good. Because of this, we made the decision to cancel all 6 groups that were planning to come down between March and May and we are, at least presently, not accepting new groups either.
There are still some organizations that are bringing groups down, and some people may think we are making too much out of the situation. But here is the reality:
- Haiti, along with North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and 8 other countries are classified as Level 4 Travel Advisories by the US State Department. The Level 4 advisory is actually worded “Do Not Travel.”
- If we brought teams down and something happened to them while they were here, we are worried about liability that we may run into as an organization for allowing them to come.
- Most travel insurances do not cover countries on a Level 4 Advisory.
- Haiti is extremely unpredictable right now and you just never know when something new is going to happen. While short-term teams are important, it is better to be safe than sorry.
I could go on, but hopefully you understand, based on those 4 bullet points, why we are not currently scheduling new trips. It is just not wise.
We have been asked on a few occasions how this has affected All Things New. The truth is that we are blessed in that we do not rely on teams from a financial perspective to meet budget needs. There are many organizations that rely on a steady flow of short-term teams to come down and stay in guesthouses. All Things New does not own or operate a guesthouse so we have been shielded from this.
On the other hand, short-term teams are vital for All Things New in many other ways. It is how our supporters can come and connect with us and our ministry, it is how many of our sponsors and supporters have joined the ATN ministry, and it helps when other people have come down and can highlight our greatest needs from their personal experience. In fact, our new truck came largely because a group came down last year and saw the need and did everything they could to fill it.
Based on that, we need your help during this “Teamless” Time!
Here are the things we have lost out on and will continue to lose out on while we wait for Haiti to get back to the point that teams can come again:
- People who return home with a passion for ATN!
- When non-sponsors come down for the first time, they usually end up sponsoring one of our kids. We rely on sponsorships for a huge percentage of our operating costs, and short-term teams is one of the main ways we recruit new sponsors.
- While we do not rely on teams to make budget, we make about $2,000/year directly from short-term missions teams that we will need to find in other places.
Here is how you can help:
- Become a sponsor if you are not one yet! If you are, please help us recruit. Face-to-face, social media, or even through your small group at church, we need to make sure we continue to seek after new sponsors.
- Help us keep All Things New at the forefront of people’s minds. Share our posts! Write about your own experience with All Things New either on your social media or by sending a guest blog to us. Go to our Facebook page right now and click the blue link on the right side of the page that says “Invite Friends” and invite all of your friends to like our page!
- Give. If you have recently received your tax refund, received a quarterly bonus, or just would like to help us recoup some of the money we will be missing out on during this time, just click here.