You heard it right, the dreaded virus covid-19 (is it supposed to be in all caps? I don’t know. But I don’t want to give it that much power over me) has arrived in Haiti. There were two reported cases this past Thursday. The president responded by shutting down schools & business, placing an evening curfew, and asking for people to only gather in groups of 5 or less. As many of probably can guess, Haiti is not prepared for a pandemic. With a majority of its citizens living on $1-2/day and an already extremely poor medical system – the repercussions of coronavirus could be catastrophic. The people of this country have been through so much, with 2019 being one of their toughest years yet due to a corrupt government and political rioting. One thing that gives them happiness and hope is their it-takes-a-village mentality. They spend their days helping each other get by – cooking, cleaning, gardening, bathing – you name it, they do it together. So telling them now you can not go to church or you can not leave your home – it’s not adding to their already existing financial troubles, it’s stealing their joy. So please pray for everyone in Haiti’s health and for financial provision, but also for their hearts and minds, to not lose hope in a time of so much unknown…
My initial response was “this is being blown out of proportion” to “woah maybe it’s not” to “it’s the end of the world” to “God, it’s yours.” I’m taking a lot of comfort in Psalm 91 (especially verses 14-16) so I’m going to leave that here for ya’ll…
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
I know it’s easier said than done – but I’m choosing to live in thankfulness instead of fear. When fear overcomes me, I look up and give thanks to my King for all he’s done and will do for me. I’m finding peace in knowing that my future in CHRIST is NOT unknown. Give it to him and you will be rewarded with a sense of peace that surely surpasses understanding. Because ya’ll, this pandemic is straight up craziness and this world needs JESUS!
As for us, we are attempting to quarantine. Trying to entertain 9 kids – lots of coloring and movies and snacks and a scavenger hunt so far… As we said, we appreciate your prayers!
In more positive news….I wanted to also share with you an update about our different ministry programs. Even with all that is going on this past year, we are happy to share that we were able to continue on and see so much growth in our community…
“Cindy’s” Medical Clinic
The foundation was poured two weeks ago and now the walls are almost finished! We’re so excited! The clinic will have an exam room, dental room, pharmacy and lab as well as the waiting room. We are still in need of about $10k to totally finish the construction. If you feel lead to give to this project please click the link ( https://secure.egsnetwork.com/donate/DBB12EAA55424A1 ) or visit our ‘donate’ tab for more info. And of course, we covet your prayers as we move forward in this project. This is a huge need in our area, but more than anything, we can’t wait to see how this project furthers Gods’ kingdom. New Life Mission Medical Clinic will be named “Cindy’s Clinic” in honor of cofounder and friend Cindy Zimmerman.
Our gardens are thriving! After 3 years of waiting we finally have cherries which make awesome juice. We continue to have a ton of plantains, hot peppers & papaya. We also had a great yucca root (or cassava as some call it) harvest and were even able to sell quite a bit at market as income for the children’s home.
Microfinancing is defined as a financial service for individuals or small businesses who lack the access to conventional banking and/or related services. New Life Mission – Haiti, Inc. recently began working with people in our community of Charrier who own small businesses (ie. charcoal making, restaurant, small boutiques, etc). We have a small committee of members that discusses the reliability/ credibility of the participant. If they are approved, we provide them with a small business loans. Each participant signs a contract and provides a witness. So far our loans have ranged from about $500-1000 with a repayment period of 5-10 months with a 10% interest rate. All interest collected goes back into the microfinancing fund to be able to provide more people with loans. As we move forward, we are researching into methods of how to grow our program into providing business education for our participants while at the same time, sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. We currently have 9 small business owners in our program.
Child Sponsorship Program
Our child school sponsorship program sends over 60 kids to school each year. An annual donation of $300 pays for their tuition, books, and uniform. We have 5 children in our program who are in need of sponsors. If you would be able or interested to sponsor a child for the 2020-2021 school year please call or email us.
We know this is a difficult time for many, but if God lays it on your heart to bless our ministries you can click the “donate” tab or mail in donations to the address listed below. We thank you for all your support and just know we are praying for you guys too! Let’s band together in Christ and get through this – even if we are standing 6 feet (or more) apart.
New Life Mission – Haiti, Inc.
420 E. Fulton Street, Ephrata, PA 17522