Coastal Haiti Mission Newsletter
Present Conditions in Haiti
Ken Johansson, CHM Newsletter editor writes:
Haiti is now in a very fragile state. As the economy has declined, the elements of lawlessness have escalated. I have been sent many reports that travel in Haiti is not safe. Previously, we were told to avoid the capital city of Port au Prince, and that there was less risk in Northern Haiti.
This is no longer true. Now, the Northern City of Cap Haitian, is not considered a safe place to visit.
I did a Google Search on the subject of travel safety in Haiti. The result was a compilation of the many possibilities of being a victim of serious crime. The overall recommendation is “Do not travel to Haiti”.
One very important fact is, that the Haitian People themselves, are also at risk. It turns out that anybody can be a victim if they are perceived to have any value.
One crime that has become popular is, “kidnapping for ransom”. This is particularly true if a person is from another country, such as the United States, where the family of the victim, is thought to be willing to pay money to free their family member.
I thought it would be very important to get an assessment from someone who is actually living in Northern Haiti, who will give an accurate description of the security and personal safety conditions that exit now. I asked Pastor Coty Joseph to write the following report.
Pastor Coty writes:
Dear friends and supporters of Coastal Haiti Mission, I often write to you to tell you about our economic situation, and the progress that we are making with your generous support.
Today I want to write to you about another subject. It is the lack of personal safety, that we are now living with, in Haiti.
In the past, when people spoke of criminal activity and the lack of security, they were speaking, to a large degree, about the capital city of Port-au-Prince. The northern cities and especially the northern countryside were considered reasonably safe.
But now, criminal activity is everywhere. It is in the cities and it is in the country.
People are living under stress, and no one trusts anyone.
The kidnapping situation is really bad. Anyone is subject to being kidnapped. You do not have to be a person with big money. I have heard about many cases in Cap-Haitian, and in Limonade, a town only 14 kilometers (8.6 miles) from our Village of Cahess.
Three days ago, 2 ladies were standing by the edge of the road, in Cahess. It was about 7 PM. Two men on a motorcycle, stopped and pointed a gun at them. They demanded that the two ladies give them their cell phones, which they did. What else could they do?
Even the government asks the people not to go out at night. They also request that people stay together, and that they not go anywhere alone, or accept rides from anyone that they do not know.
We don’t know how long this lawlessness will last, but we are asking you to pray, so that God will do something for us.
The people we are called to serve must live with the above conditions. The families must continue to function, the children need to continue to attend school. Somehow, the families must find food and the other necessities of life.
We are needed to assist the people in the village of Cahess, more now, than ever before. They are victims of their country, teetering on the verge of collapse.
Ken Johansson, CHM Newsletter editor
The Charcoal Market
Pastor Coty visited an outside market where charcoal is sold, to illustrate the conditions that people tolerate, to eke out a very marginal living.
Pastor Coty Writes:
Many people in Haiti, who live in the cities, cook with charcoal.
In a previous newsletter, we described to you, the process of making charcoal. Today we are in a Cap-Haitian charcoal market. The northern city of Cap Haitian, is the second largest city in Haiti.
It was not easy for me to take pictures, because these vendors do not like being photographed. However the photos I was able to get, may give you an idea of how this market looks, and also the conditions, that the people selling the charcoal, endure.
As you can see, it is an open area, with no shade. Some of the ladies use a large hat, while others use just a cardboard on their head, to protect themselves against the Sun.
These people are living a tough life in this so called market. With or without rain, there is always water in a trench, where the vendors are located. That water really smells bad. There are no bathroom facilities.
In these squalid conditions, the charcoal venders compete against each other for each sale.When it is time to close, and there is unsold charcoal, each vendor will rent a storage space to store their remaining charcoal. This takes some of the days’ proceeds, however the alternative is to sell the remaining charcoal to the owner of the depot, at a very unreasonably low price. The vendors are forced to make this choice, because they cannot afford to pay someone to transport the remaining charcoal back to their home.
The motorcycles shown in the photos are Moto Taxis. Their owners are nearby, waiting for someone to hire them. It is not unusual to see a motorcycle carrying people and their possessions, such as large bags of charcoal.
The Charcoal Market- Not a pleasant place.
A better location in the same market.
The School Lunch Program
This is inside the classroom. Working with the hope, that these students will learn and retain, the subject that is being taught.
At 10:00 A.M. These student will welcome a lunch to fill their hungry stomachs. Thanks to our supporters.
Pastor Coty Writes:
Every day is a blessing from God. Every school day in our village is like a celebration. It is not everyday, that each person in Cahess will get something to eat. However, every school day, the students will eat a meal. A nice meal with rice and beans and sardines.
We are so thankful to you, our supporters. You make it happen!!!
When I got to the school this morning, this is the way the school back yard looked like.
Pastor Coty Writes: I love seeing the teachers eating lunch. with the kids.
On this day the meal was rice and sardines.
The students and their families, the teachers, Pastor Coty, and the leadership of Coastal Haiti Mission, thank you for your demonstrated love for providing this very important school lunch program.
Saturday Sunday School
Pastor Coty Writes:
Nana, my wife, teaches this class. Nana is taking a theological class on Saturday afternoon. Therefore Saturday Sunday School is now held on Saturday morning.
In the past we have been providing food bars for the children in the afternoon meeting. Now, the meeting ends about noontime and the children are hungry. Because we have been given some additional funding for our ministry, we have been able to provide a meal of rice and okras instead of the food bars.
We are very thankful for the additional funding for our ministry which enables us in this class, to provide meals for the children, while we teach them about the scripture and living for Jesus Christ.
Pastor Coty Joseph
The Water Purifier Program
Getting pure water in Cahess is a big challenge. Most wells are shallow and the water they supply, is ground water. However the many human sewage pits that are located near every residence, contaminate the ground water. Therefore many, if not most, wells are contaminated. Contaminated water is a major source of water borne disease. In order to use this water safely, it must be purified.
CHM purchased 108 water purifiers in 2018 from a Charity named Gift of Water. These purifiers have functioned very well.
Pastor Coty has stated that these purifiers have been a great blessing to the people of Cahess. He also stated that of the families who received, and are using one of these water purifiers, he knows of no one who has become sick with typhoid fever.
These water purifiers remove or kill many disease causing pathogens, including those that cause typhoid fever.
Our CHM water technician has been teaching the people about water borne diseases and servicing the purifiers each month.
CHM is planning to purchase another 50 purifiers for the people living in Cahess, in the month of April 2020.
Proverbs 19: 7
Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done.
Thank you family and friends of Coastal Haiti Mission, for all that you do to help the people in Cahess, Haiti. You are making a huge difference for these people.
Please remember, that CHM must
continue to send our monthly commitment of $600 to carry on the ongoing CHM
ministry in Cahess.
If you desire to help, please send your tax deductable check to our address and tell us how you want us to use your donation:
Coastal Haiti Mission
C/O Constance Goddard
3048 Spring Fancy Lane
Indian Trail, NC 28079
For tax deductable “online donations”, please use our PayPal service. Also please designate how you want us to use your donation:
May the Lord our God, who knows your heart and sees your actions, grant you great joy as you serve Him.
Connie, Esther, Pastor Coty, and Ken are very grateful for your sacrifice.
Ken Johansson CHM Newsletter Editor