Update from Missionary to Haiti, Rev. Terry Schultz
Last Wednesday (October 17, 2018) tens of thousands of Haitians took to the streets in nearly every major city in protests against the government. The protesters were demanding the resignation of President Jovenel Moises over the misuse of a multi-billion dollar relief fund, which they say he so far refuses to investigate. The demonstrators also demanded the arrest and trial of the former first lady of Haiti over missing funds.
Our schools were closed, as it was safer for the children to stay home than to be on the streets going to and from school. Public transportation was suspended. None of our children or families of our school children reported any injuries, praise the Lord!
Others in Haiti we not so fortunate, as two persons died in the demonstrations and scores were injured.
National Haitian Police fired live ammunition, rubber bullets and tear gas, while demonstrators responded with rocks, bottles, and barricades of burning tires. In Pastor Rona’s hometown of Cape Haitian a government office was burned.
In a country that has seen so much natural disaster and civil strife, we pray for healing in the nation of Haiti. In the midst of turmoil we finds strength and peace in God’s words to us through the prophet Isaiah: Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you (Isaiah 54:10).
I thought it might be a good time for a Branch update.
First, I want to share some exciting news. The enrollment total for all three Branch schools for the 2018-2019 school year is around 680 students. That's almost 280 more than last year. Our schools are extremely well respected in their communities and the number of neighborhood children now hearing God's word is phenomenal. He has truly blessed this ministry in Haiti. With the larger enrollments we have added classrooms, teachers, desks, chairs, blackboards, and so on. Our budget is growing, but so is the spreading of God's word.
Second, I want to thank the women and groups of women who have been sewing pencil cases as Christmas gifts for all of the students this school year. As of today I have about 460 promised of the 680 needed. Hopefully we will reach our new goal before our return to Haiti. Our trip might be postponed until very early January, but we will be able to give out the gifts for Three Kings Day (Epiphany).
Third, I wish to extend a special thank you to all the women who are supplying handmade items for our 2nd Annual Christmas Bazaar for Haiti Schools which will be November 3rd. Also, thank you to members of Mt. Olive Ev. Lutheran of St. Paul, MN who have offered their time to help that day.
Last, but most certainly not least, we all wish to thank the many individuals, groups, and church bodies that have contributed to Branch. Without your generous donations, Branch would not be able to carry out this ministry which has been entrusted to us.
Some of you have signed up for monthly recurring donations which are an easy and not overwhelming way to contribute. $25 a month = $300 a year. $300 would be equivalent to salary for a teacher for 1 1/2 months. And, it's much less of a strain on the budget to donate this way. $25 is about what you would spend to get pizza delivered for the family one time, yet it would go so far to help hundreds of children in Haiti.
Please see the Gallery section for more photos from our schools.
Special Projects Coordinator
Branch Lutheran Schools of Haiti, Inc.