I have struggled to sit down and put into words what is going on in Haiti. I used to think I had a way with words, but currently, I’m just feeling too tired. Or too sad to try to write something that explains things but is also encouraging.
As many of you probably already know, last Wednesday on July 7th the president of Haiti was assassinated in his home. His wife was also injured, but was able to survive the attack. I won’t begin to try to explain the who, what, where, and why of it all because with all the different stories coming out there is no way to know what is truth. But a simple google search can give you some answers.
My heart hurts for Haiti and its people. With all they’ve been through these last 3 years, it just seems unfair. There has been almost constant civil unrest and gang violence, and people can no longer feel safe doing a simple task like going to work, to market or sending their kids to school. Another struggle is that inflation has once again caused prices to skyrocket. Some foods are more than double what we would have paid just last year. In a country where people live off an average of $2 US per day, how can you expect them to be able to feed their families? Gas is not available because the town of Martissant in Port au Prince has been taken over by gangs. People are fleeing from their homes and living on the streets. A main road runs right through that town and the gas trucks are unable to pass to deliver to the rest of the country. So many businesses are hurting because they are unable to function without their generators. And now the leader of their country is gone. Though he wasn’t very popular, it does not take away the fears of what this lack of structure could mean for the country. I asked Madanm Vide, Zacharie’s mother, how she is feeling about it all, and she said, “How can we carry on like this? It doesn’t seem possible.” It really doesn’t.
It feels like everyone is just holding their breath, waiting to see what disaster will strike next.
So what next? We don’t know. As for us, we will keep doing ministry, keep building the medical clinic, keep on keeping on as long as the Lord allows us to. We feel safe where we are, and we are thankful to be a part of a wonderful community here in Charrier.
Please pray for us as we are striving to encourage those around us in a time that feels so unsure and unsteady. We trust that the Lord is in control, and we are trying to encourage those around us to do the same. Please pray for the people of Haiti to have hope, and to not lose their faith. Pray for the leaders left in this country to unite together to propel Haiti forward in a positive direction. For the family of the president as they mourn a husband & father. For the entire country to prosper!
We also recognize that it is not only in Haiti that tensions are high. All around the world, people are struggling and fighting to survive. While I, Stevie, was in the US in April I reached out to a couple people for encouragement. After explaining some of my personal struggles, not one but 3 different people prayed the same set of verses over me.
Ephesians 6: 11-18 reads
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”
They reminded me that every single day is a battle. God and Satan are in a battle for YOUR mind and soul. Every single day we must wake up and make a choice to choose Jesus and choose joy in the midst of our heartaches and struggles. We must! Or why would this life be worth living? Put on your armor every morning and be prepared to fight. Be on guard because your heart is on the line. Look at your strengths and use them. Figure out what your weaknesses are and lean on those who can help! And guys, we don’t know how much time we have left here on earth, so take each day as an opportunity to love and encourage those around you. Because we all know there isn’t a single person out there with a perfect life and we all need Christ!
I want to say how grateful we are for every thought, every prayer, and every dollar sent our way. Words will never be able to express how thankful we are.
Please keep them coming.
We love you all,
Zacharie & Stevie Estime