Comments are welcome but please have the courtesy to sign your name. Unsigned comments will be deleted.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Drought in Haiti

My niece has been operating a clinic for ten years at La Source in northern Haiti. Here is a portion from her last email:
"We've been having a drought--the worst one in the 10 years I've lived here.  People usually plant beans, corn and peanuts in April or May.  This year there were a few good rains but they did not continue. People planted twice, but each time the plants withered and died before they got to be a foot tall--there wasn't even anything worth giving their goats, donkeys and sheep of the remaining plants.  This is normally a hungry season, supplies from the harvest in January are dwindling and crops planted in April or May are just beginning to be harvested.  Children, who often receive a free lunch at school, are all at home depending on their parents for food.  This year is even worse, not only because there isn't food around but also because there is no hope of food in the foreseeable future. . .
In August hopefully the rains will come more regularly again allowing people to plant millet, beans and a few more peanuts (although some people have already sold their seed stock in order to buy food), but even then the harvest wouldn't be ready until January. 
We are getting lots of requests to help people pay off food that they've bought on credit from local merchants. It is challening to know how to handle them because in many ways it feels like a bottomless pit.  We can help them pay for food they bought two weeks ago, but that's been eaten long ago and they still need food to eat today and tomorrow and if they couldn't pay for that food how are they going to pay for the next batch?  People are willing to work, but it is impossible for us to employ everyone. . . .
The next few months will be difficult ones as families scrounge for money to send their children back to school, money to buy them new uniforms, shoes and books.  The staff will be under considerable pressure to help pay schooling for people and it is impossible to help everyone.  I'm sure they'd appreciate your prayers for wisdom to prioritize and how to best help."
As I took my morning walk yesterday and saw the tall corn and lush growth on every side, I remembered our dry spell in May. The corn I planted in the garden did not come up and I wondered what kind of summer we were going to have. But then the rains came, the corn came up, and regular rains produced an abundant crop. I tried to imagine how it would be if the rains had never come and wished I could send some of our excess to the hungry people in Haiti.
That very day, we got a letter from Christian Aid Ministries (CAM) which also described the famine in Haiti caused by the drought. They are sending corn and beans to the La Source area. I can't send my excess to Haiti but I can send money to CAM to help feed the hungry in Haiti.
If you would like to help, send your donation to Christian Aid Ministries, P.O. Box 360, Berlin, Ohio 44610. Mark it for Drought in Haiti.

"Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least, you have done it unto me."

No comments: