Deliver the poor and needy; rid them out of the hand of the wicked.
We would like to start by saying how much we appreciate all that you do for the Hands and Feet Project Aftercare Program, and we ask for your continued prayers for our team and our mission! We are working hard towards the continued growth of this project, which is more challenging now than ever. Due to the current level of government instability in Haiti, our project is on hold. Since our program is integrated with the Haitian government, this has slowed our work significantly, but we continue to trust in our redeeming, all-knowing Heavenly Father. With this in mind, we ask you to pray. Pray for our mission, pray for grace, and specifically, please pray that:
We would like to leave you with this message from our Aftercare Operations Liaison. Our team recently took a trip to the Dominican Republic, and we wanted to share an update.
As the global pandemic begins to loosen its grip on our lives, you would think our team would be rejoicing about open borders and plans taking shape. Unfortunately, that is not our reality, but COVID is not to blame. I have been working in Haiti in varying capacities since 2010, and these new challenges seem to weigh just a bit more. I assume some of the added burden is because of the previous year, but nonetheless, the burden still bears heavy.
See, even as COVID restrictions ease, borders are opening, testing practices improve, and vaccine numbers increase, insecurity and corruption within the country are stealing our opportunities like never before. A rescue operation is planned, but a prison break steals the attention of the powers that be. Further trips and agendas are halted or delayed because of the opposition to the broken status quo. Children are still trapped in hell as their innocence is stolen for the selfish, financial gain of others. Trafficking, rape, and slavery still exist today, just as they did amongst a prison break, political protests, and a global pandemic. Yes, this is burdensome and heavy, as it is intended to be, because we want you, our partner, to remain vigilant in your attention and prayers to the dilemma at hand. Yet even as we are frustrated, we remain consistently working, seeking, and praying that the Lord would use us to bring about heaven on earth. We believe this is possible, so we will press on.
February allowed us the opportunity to expand our connections and reach to the Dominican Republic. You might wonder: why? The economic burdens and harsh realities of life in Haiti are leveraged to exploit and traffic individuals to the DR. Because of some divine connections many years in the making, we have met a group in the DR working for freedom and justice. They are working to build a foundation to find evidence that will not only ensure freedom for the captives but also convictions for the perpetrators. I was able to meet some amazing communities of Haitians working, fighting, and striving for each day. This organization is working to build rapport and support from two Haitian communities, one rural and one urban. These neighborhoods are being targeted because of the reports of underage victims coming from these areas. The goal is to build relational support and trusted informants from within these communities by creating trust and goodwill through community outreach and special projects.
From my first impressions, a solid groundwork is being laid to help provide the much-needed intel to find and follow smuggling routes, areas of interest, and hopefully those who are driving this evil trade. The steadfast joy and perseverance of the Haiti that we know is still there, and love is still shining bright even on the opposite side of the border in these communities. We are exploring opportunities as to how we might engage survivors east of the Haiti-DR border, and how we might participate in providing care for the journey ahead. Currently, we are working with our partners, their connections, and others working in the DR to collaborate about how we can participate in aftercare for the survivors that are awaiting their freedom.
Meanwhile, in Haiti, there is a specific group of kids needing your prayers. This is not the first group, and unfortunately, it probably won’t be the last. Know and trust that there is an amazing group of people working and praying to free a group of kids whose innocence has been stolen.
Yes, I am frustrated, but through that frustration, we continue to work and persevere. We continue to pray. We stay committed and continue to believe that the Lord can and will use us, as well as our partners, to bring about freedom, care, and love to survivors in the days and years ahead.