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May 8, 2019

Unrest in Haiti

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”  Those verses in Isaiah 43 came to mind in September 2017 as I shuttled the team and supplies through 15 river crossings to our remote church rebuild site.  One crossing in particular reassured me of God’s faithfulness as my vehicle would drift ten to fifteen feet down stream each time I returned with an empty load.  Countless other times I sensed God’s hands of protection around us as we traveled and worked to build His church.  Two years of planning, leading teams, sweating, crying, and trusting God have now resulted in eight churches that are now meeting under a permanent building.  Thank you, Lord!!

With my first assignment complete I wondered what was next, but I did not have to wonder long!  At a breakfast meeting on January 11th I was asked to consider being the Mission Director for our work in Haiti.  I told Dennis Jackson that I would pray about it, but I knew what I was supposed to do.  This was the second time that the Lord had presented me with this opportunity, and I knew I better not say no for a second time.  A couple of weeks later I contacted Dennis and accepted the position.  The next week I was on a plane headed to Haiti for the Leadership Team retreat…and so the journey began!  Less than three weeks later I was helping arrange the evacuation of 65 people from Haiti as the country erupted in protests and riots calling for the resignation of the current Haitian president.  The word we were getting from people in high positions was that Haiti may be headed to civil war.  Our missionaries were never in immediate danger, but we decided to be proactive and not wait for things to get worse.  On February 14th at 8:32 pm I received the following message from the group that orchestrated the evacuation…

“Greetings,
All 10 PAX on flight AA1059 have landed in Miami. All 22 PAX are now safely back in the United States. Mission complete.”

I can’t explain the flood of emotion that came over me as I read that message.  My relief was short-lived though as we received a message shortly after that saying that the US State Department raised Haiti to Level 4 – Do Not Travel. The other countries in the world with similar advisories are Venezuela, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Yemen.

Haiti has been relatively calm since February, but the issues that caused the riots and protests have not been resolved.  Part of our missionary team was allowed to return to Haiti April 16th and others will be returning over the next two weeks.  I will not get into the politics of the country, but please know that there are a lot of good people in Haiti who love their country. They are just tired of corruption, injustice, and lack of opportunities.

Please pray for Haiti and our mission team on the ground.  The biggest cause of concern at this time is the rising gang violence in parts of the country since the UN pulled out their peace keeping force last year.  One gang leader “declared war” on the Haiti National Police.  La Gonave is our safe place.  Our missionaries who returned to the island informed me that they received “nothing less than a royal” welcome.  One missionary said that they were welcomed as “friends” returning home after being gone for a while.  

During our missionary retreat April 11 – 15 we discussed the future of the Haiti Wesleyan Mission.  We have cancelled all short-term mission teams through the end of May and will likely extend this until the Travel Advisory falls below Level 4.  The Haitian staff of the Wesleyan Mission depend on the funds generated by short-term mission teams to pay their salary.  Food is still scarce on La Gonave and the food that is available is very expensive. People are hungry and desperate! Will you help our Haitian brothers and sister in their time of need?

In response to this current crisis in Haiti will you give today to provide assistance to the Haitian staff of the Wesleyan Mission in Haiti?

To Give online:

  1. Go to: https://www.globalpartnersonline.org/donate/give-by-fund-number/
  2. In Box 1 enter:  WM06-0126
  3. In box 2 enter:  Haiti Mission Assist
  4. In box 3 enter:  Amount to donate
  5. Click “Add Donation” and follow directions on next page

To Give by check:  Make checks payable and mail to Global Partners, PO Box 50434, Indianapolis, IN 46250. Note “WM06-0126 / Haiti Mission Assistance” on the memo line.
Please pray for me as I travel to Haiti for a few days of meetings and assessment. 
God bless you all,
Greg Edmonds, Haiti Mission Director

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