In late March, Haiti closed its airports and seaports in an attempt to halt the introduction of COVID-19 cases from other countries. That was an effective first step. As of May 1, Haiti, which is a nation of 11 million people, has only reported 72 cases of COVID-19 with 4 dead. However, this situation could change quickly, due to conditions in Haiti.
Firstly, Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Haitians have very limited access to clean water. Therefore, it can be very difficult for Haitians to take the basic safety steps of washing their hands often. Secondly, Haiti is not a country that will be able to “socially distance” very easily. Often, multiple generations of Haitians live in one small home. And, it is not uncommon to see a family of 3-5 people sharing a motorcycle ride. However, the people of Haiti have been making face masks before we were in the United States, have shut down their schools and factories, and are doing what they can to fight this pandemic. As a precaution, Mission in Ministry has recently closed the Jacmel Lutheran Home to any visitors, and the staff must live there temporarily and are not allowed to commute back to their homes.
Ministry In Mission has been in regular contact with Pastor Marky and Sydney Kessa, particularly about the Jacmel Lutheran Home, because of the severe danger to the elderly. As noted above, we have asked some of the caretakers to actually move into the elder care home so that workers would not be coming and going on a daily basis. Meals have always been delivered, but now they are dropped off with no direct contact.
Unfortunately, with borders closed, all future mission trips to Haiti are on hold. That hampers our ability to get them supplies. Our only option right now is to send them monetary donations as we receive them. Please keep our Haitian brothers and sisters in your prayers throughout this difficult time and #RememberHaiti
Joseph and Roussemie Lucien have quarantined the Orphanage Children. Roussemie has been stranded in the U.S.since March. She was visiting the U.S. and has not been able to get back to Haiti since all flights to Haiti have been suspended.
Junior Laurent, most of you know him as Vlad, has joined the Ministry In Mission Board as Executive Field Director. Vlad gives us regular updates from Haiti about the conditions and recently participated, by Zoom meeting, in a Ministry In Mission Board meeting.