Dear Friends of Branch Lutheran Schools of Haiti,
Today the children, teachers, orphanage directors, and national pastor in Haiti desperately need your prayers. Conditions in Haiti, which have always been difficult, are deteriorating. After months of protests intended to unseat the current president of Haiti, violence is intensifying. As a result of the extreme danger and blockades, three of our schools have been unable to operate consistently. The school in Carrefour has been unable to hold classes for three weeks. At least one of the orphanages is suffering food and water scarcity. Another major protest is taking place today, October 11. We’re asking you to join us in prayer for protection of the children and an end to violence.
Maybe you’ve read the news accounts. More likely, you haven’t - world news organizations rarely mention Haiti except on its darkest days. Sadly, today is one of those days. I encourage you to type “Haiti news today” in your search engine for breaking news.
God is richly blessing the Branch Schools ministry and, despite this crisis, we still anticipate another year of tremendous growth. More than 900 children are enrolled, an increase from 650 last year. We also raised funds to open a middle school in Pilate. At school, children are eagerly learning, they are safe, and they receive daily nutrition. Although many aid organizations have fled Haiti due to the violence, God has allowed us to become firmly rooted there with Haitian teachers, directors, administrator, and a Haitian national pastor as well as an excellent reputation for educational standards.
However, Branch Schools are not immune in this current time of suffering. Because banks are affected by the violence, September the funding for salaries, nutrition, and water, set to arrive in Haiti on September 26, has not reached the schools as of October 10. Banks are so far behind with money transfers, Time reports that, "cash transfers to some 37,000 people in need were postponed."
In times like this, it’s easy to feel helpless. Instead, we turn to the words of Isaiah, the same words we are sharing with our Haitian friends in our daily communication via mobile apps: “Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.”
God is still working in Haiti and so are we with the help of your prayers and gifts. When blockades lift, we are bracing to effectively meet the additional needs created by the crisis. Please remember the Branch Schools ministry in your prayers, including the orphans, orphanage directors, teachers, neighborhood children and their families, and Pastor Rona (the national pastor). We pray that unrest will end, no further violence and bloodshed will occur, that Branch Schools will reopen, food and water will be available, and the banking system will operate again. Above all, we pray the gospel will spread throughout Haiti. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen.
Lee Petersen, Branch Schools Chairman