Gia Riney, Director Communications, NPHI
As widely reported, a group of 17 missionaries from the nonprofit organization Christian Aid Ministries was kidnapped in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Saturday, 16 October. A local powerful gang quickly took credit for the crime and has since demanded a ransom of US$1 million per victim. The impact of this latest atrocity is felt across the capital city and the world.
Here is a firsthand account from St. Damien and the NPFS Special Needs Program. Please continue to pray for our courageous NPFS Haiti family and our sister organization St. Luc.
St. Damien Pediatric Hospital: Open for the time being
“The situation is worsening amid a severe fuel shortage. We were ready to announce that we would close everything Tuesday [tomorrow] if we could not replenish our tanks. In a recent development, we have managed to stay open until Friday. We remain hopeful that the situation will improve a bit in the meantime.
UNICEF promised a small quantity of diesel that we have not yet received. We need thousands of gallons of fuel for just one week of operations for both St. Luc and St. Damien to power our common energy grid. We have some hope, but the situation is very difficult.”
NPFS Special Needs Program: Enduring daily dangers
“We have closed Ste. Germaine. It is too dangerous for parents to bring their children to school. Last Thursday, roads were blocked with barricades and burning tires. Parents had to borrow money to pay exorbitant prices for moto-taxis. Staff had to do the same to get home; all were extremely traumatized by the experience.
Therapists and teachers in Kay Christine and Ste. Helene who come from town had to walk most of the way home on that Thursday, navigating burning barricades and burning tires. It took them between four and six hours to get home. The following day, they stayed home.
Today again they did not come to work; no fuel means no public transport. It is a mess. Food prices are sky high. A member of staff was telling me of a pregnant neighbor who was in labor but could not find transportation to get to a hospital. After a day of suffering greatly, she delivered the baby at home.
We have not had city electricity in our facility in months. One generator is dead and the other has limited capacity. The antenna onsite is down due to dead batteries that cannot be charged without electricity or a generator, making external communication difficult to impossible.
I am not a doom-and-gloom person but things are very fragile now. We have enough food and cooking gas, but one hopes this does not go on too long. Everyone is feeling the stress and doing their best to keep going. Morale is very low.
The sun is shining, the clothes are drying, and the kids are smiling, so these little things are blessings—big blessings.”