On Friday the government decided to drastically increase the price of gas. It could have been anywhere from $17-$20 USD per gallon. In a country like Haiti, where approximately 80% of the population only makes $2 per day, it put everyone into an angry panic. With prices this steep, it would be difficult for them to afford anything. For example, it would cost more to take a tap-tap to work than they would actually make during the day. So, they took to the streets in protest. It turned violent and they even clashed with the police. Pastor Herve, our field leader in Haiti, stayed put at the St. Marc church from Friday – Monday morning (he is home now). The airport was shut down Friday night, all day Saturday and for a while on Sunday. It is up and running today, which is encouraging to hear. The gas tax was lifted on Saturday afternoon and that seemed to help.
Our staff in Haiti is fine, just taking precautions and laying low until things calm down. We are in communication with them, as well as with other organizations down there that we have connections to, so we are kept up to date with what is happening. We are praying for the country, and for wisdom as a staff as we look forward to the next few weeks.
It would be a shame for Haiti to be defined by what has been shown on the news over the past few days, when that is only a small percentage of the country and a poor representation of the people. There are millions there holding onto hope and standing steadfast in prayer, believing that better days are coming. Let’s stand in the gap with them.