The nation of Haiti is currently experiencing civil unrest, and violent protests over extreme inflation and allegations of government corruption. Demonstrators have demanded the resignation of President Moise, accusing Haitian government officials of misappropriating development funds from an oil deal between Caribbean countries and Venezuela.
Anytime a nation experiences unrest, the people that are in danger of being harmed the most, are the most vulnerable populations, typically women and children. For example, after the earthquake almost a decade ago, there were reports of sexual abuse from the UN peacekeepers in Haiti and Haitian women who engaged in “transactional sex” to receive goods like food and medicine from the UN peacekeepers.
Haiti is the poorest country in Americas, and 60 percent of the population lives on less than $2 a day. Due to the current unrest in Port-au-Prince, many Haitians are standing in lines, trying to obtain basic necessities—food, water and gas. There are over 30,000 children living in orphanages, but many of those children aren’t orphans at all. At least 80 percent of children living in institutions have at least one living parent, but they’ve been placed there because of the severe poverty in the nation. Parents think it’s better for their child to live in an orphanage, growing up without a family. Unfortunately, there are many corrupt orphanages who trick parents into thinking their children will be cared for and given an education, but the orphanage is really just a front for trafficking children,
Haiti has an incredibly special place in my heart. I close my eyes, and I’m immediately transported back to the Port-au-Prince, the city where I fell in love with another culture, another nation, and Haiti’s most vulnerable people—its orphans. A couple of years ago, I traveled down to Haiti on a child welfare trip. We visited orphanages, spoke with government leaders, learned about the issue of Restavek, a form of modern-day child slavery that affects 1 in every 15 children in Haiti. During my time, I held a little boy who was left in a trash bag in the streets of Port-au-Prince, thrown out and left for dead. But the Lord had other plans for him. He was rescued and adopted by a Christian family in Haiti. His family named him Nathan, meaning “gift from God.”
As Christians, we should care deeply about what’s happening in other parts of the world. One of the most important ways we can support the Haitians is to lift them up in prayer! Below are three ways you can pray.
- Pray that the government leaders would begin to protect and care for its citizens.
- Pray that Haiti’s most vulnerable people would be protected; not taken advantage.
- Pray that people’s basic necessities would be provided for (food, water, shelter, medical care, safety).
The enormity of need in Haiti can feel overwhelming to us, but not to the Lord. We should be encouraged by the reminder that the Lord delights to hear and answer the prayers of his children. Let’s pray and trust that the Lord is intervening in Haiti.