International Bible Givers

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From the Chairman

IBG Chairman Chuck Hayes

Crisis in Haiti - Perspectives for US

Hello Bible Givers,

With the chaos in Washington, it’s hard to get news about the rest of the world. If you are not aware, Haiti, a strategic destination for IBG Bible’s, is in deep crisis. The president and his administration have allegedly embezzled $4.2 billion in oil loan money, and that amount is expected to increase as the investigation continues. That’s a lot of cash anywhere, but in Haiti, a country where the annual Gross Domestic Product is only $8.02 billion dollars, this level of corruption and its impact on every aspect of Haitian life is staggering.

Mass demonstrations have occurred daily for 2 weeks as the government clings to power. The streets were never safe, but are now extremely dangerous. Haiti has 85% unemployment when things are good. Now no one is working. The Haitian government is bankrupt – there is no money left. Oil tankers ride in anchor off Port-au-Prince, but don’t unload because the government cannot pay. There is little electricity on a good day. There is now little fuel left in the country for those fortunate enough to have a generator. Water is critically short in supply. As is food. It is unsafe to venture far from your home in search of these necessities, so a large scale humanitarian crisis is looming.

A Haitian leader I have worked with the past 5 years actually made it out of Haiti last Friday to the US and is trying to return as I write this. I have stayed in his home in Port-au-Prince many times and know his wife and daughters - one of whom played a concert for me one evening – it was precious! As we spoke and prayed on Sunday, I was struck by the contrast in burdens between myself and him. Here is just a sampling:

  • I am tired of shoveling snow. He is praying for rain! The water trucks have no fuel to make deliveries, and the streets are too dangerous anyway. He needs the rain to fill his cistern and provide water for his family.
  • I am tired of going outside in the cold. He takes a great personal risk every time he steps out into the streets.
  • My snowy commutes have been long and tiring. His commute to the airport Friday was a long harrowing journey. He left home while it was still dark to avoid the mobs. He was able to arrange a motorcycle taxi to take him, but the driver was fearful of going any further and dropped him off in the city – halfway to the airport. He walked the rest of the way – by my guess at least 12 miles – alone on foot. It took hours.
  • I worry that an interview I have worked hard to arrange will get snowed out due to our next snow storm. He was wondering if the airlines would still be flying to Haiti today so he could get back to his country. Further, he had no idea how he would get home from the airport.

I could keep going. Would you take time each day to pray for Haiti? For justice where it is needed. For grace as neighbors help each other. For provision. For our ministry partners there who have had their vital work interrupted by the civil unrest. For righteous leadership to emerge and for God to use this evil situation to raise up good in that land. And pray for each other here, too, that we would not be stymied by our “first-world problems”, and keep going despite our own obstacles.

Give Hope. Give Life. Give Bibles!