For several months, we’ve been forced to cancel plans to visit our friends in Haiti due to a Level 4 Travel Advisory issued by the U.S. Department of State. This is painful. We have gifts for the children and our medical team worries about the disruption of regular visits. But we also have reason to be deeply grateful - vital systems are in place to continue the flow of love and support to Haiti. As we wait, here are five things friends of Branch Lutheran Schools of Haiti can do when travel to Haiti isn’t possible.
1. Remember the school children, staff, and Pastor Rona in our daily prayers. When a crisis, whether political unrest or natural disaster, temporarily closes the door for travel to Haiti, we know the people of Haiti are suffering pain and massive disruption in their daily lives. Pray that God eases their burdens and comforts them.
2. Thank God for the systems in place in Haiti. When we can’t physically travel to Haiti, we know trusted people are in place and working hard for the physical and spiritual benefit of the children – a national pastor, confirmed orphanage directors, and a school superintendent. This allows us to continue operation of the schools during tough times as much as possible.
3. Check in online. We’re blessed to be able to communicate online so we can keep posted on the current events, learn of emerging needs, and provide encouragement.
4. Send financial support. We have secure and reliable systems in place to send our regular financial support and additional aid as needed. This aid becomes even more essential during a crisis when prices escalate and supplies run low. In the current crisis, the prices of food, charcoal for cooking, and other essentials have doubled. God led many friends to help and we’ve increased our support and, despite the political unrest, successfully transferred the necessary funds.
5. Wait patiently in the Lord. Haiti is a challenging place to live and work, but God has not forgotten his children there and we won’t either. We remain patient, persistent, and hopeful. The schools are equipping more than 650 children with gospel and education that will sustain them their entire lives and help them make a positive impact on their community in the future.
We’re monitoring the situation closely and we’re confident the travel ban will pass. For now, we trust God, we’re grateful to have systems in place in Haiti, and we look forward to seeing the children and our friends face-to-face as soon as possible.