“My heart is broken for the people we had to leave behind!”
This is just one reflection from Global Partners missionaries who were forced to evacuate Haiti in February because of unrest and violence in the country. The escalating unrest caused the U.S. Embassy to raise the security threat to level four (high). In total, 65 people were evacuated safely to the United States and Canada. This list included missionaries, short-term volunteers, visiting family members and a visiting medical team from Indiana Wesleyan University.
Although the civil unrest and anti-government protests have lessened, there is no guarantee the volatile situation has come to an end. While several Global Partners missionaries have expressed appreciation for their safety, they regret having to leave their Haitian brothers and sisters. Following are some missionary reflections, as they face the unknowns surrounding their evacuation:
- We are sad to be in this position. We are leaning into God and his promises for us and the people of Haiti. Promises of deliverance where the light overtakes the darkness.
- We are no strangers to these demonstrations and have had our fair share of “snow-days” in which we stay at the house and do not go out on the roads … but after six days of blocked roads and no signs of letting up, we began noticing that this was no “normal” demonstration. There wasn’t fear. We didn’t feel like we were in danger. We had to make the best decision possible with the information we had. And as hard as that was, it meant leaving Haiti until things calm back down.
- We love Haiti. We love the Haitian people. We long to see justice and the end of corruption.
- Evacuation is not pleasant. It’s confusing. It’s unsettling. It’s disrupting. It’s frightening. Where do we go? Are we returning in a week, a month? How do we pack? Summer clothes, winter clothes, or both? How do we even prepare for what’s ahead?
- Evacuation is hard. Hopelessness is harder. Will you pray for this nation that has already suffered so much from poor leadership, corruption and power-hungry people?
- We have hope that the church here, like everywhere, can show what it means to follow Jesus, “to do justice, love mercy and to walk humbly with our God.”
- We know that nothing is wasted, and God is not surprised by any of this. We know that he knew this was going to happen long before we ever did. We trust that he is continuing to teach us and mold us into who he wants us to be, as we go through situations like this.
- Our evacuation really highlights privilege versus poverty.
According to Greg Edmonds, Global Partners missionary and Haiti mission director, the Haitian staff of the Wesleyan Mission in Haiti depends on the funds generated by short-term mission teams to pay their salaries. Mission team travel to Haiti has been cancelled through March 15, and this date will likely be extended indefinitely due to the unrest. Food is becoming scarce on the island of La Gonave, and what is available has become expensive. People are hungry and desperate. Edmonds requests that Wesleyans continue to pray for Haitians.
The Global Partners Haiti team continues to navigate their recent evacuation with grace and prayer. Please continue to prayerfully journey with them during these uncertain days and the hoped-for restoration to follow.
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