A Word from the President….
Well, things still continue to be difficult here. It has been a week of little traffic on the road…kind of remindes me of how things were in the big Chicago snow storm of 1967 without the snow….Most of the staff made it in but the number of patients was low. Attendance at school today was low and they won’t be having school tomorrow and Friday. Things were more tense in PAP with tire burnings, mob action and a march on the Presidential Palace. We decided to call the staff and patients together for a time of prayer, singing and reflection. Felix talked about how God is really in control, reminding them of the 3 year drought in Elijah’s time and the time there was famine so severe that mothers were eating their children when God miraculously saved them. God is still in control!
This afternoon President Preval addressed the country and we were able to get his speech on our TV. He acknowledged the dire situation that the country is in but tried to explain the impact that the global market is having on Haiti (gas prices, food shortages). He put forth some plans to subsidize the local production of food that will help to encourage farmers and keep the money circulating in Haiti instead of buying so much from abroad. He proposed a temporary new tax to help complete the road rebuilding that will help food reach PAP from the countryside quicker and perhaps less expensively. He asked the people to restrain from violent and destructive protests since it will only drive the costs up higher.
The local reaction was basically that “all that was fine and good but what are you going to do right now??? We’re hungry and can’t afford to buy food.” It will be interesting to see if there are any measures taken to bring quick relief.
Thank you for your encouraging notes and prayers. They are appreciated.