June Updates

Though the Haitian people face many social and economic issues, they all remember the day their country won its independence from the colonial slave system: November 18th, 1803. May 18th was Haitian Flag Day. It’s usually a joyful day of celebration with school parades honoring Haiti’s rich history of freedom.

Earlier that same year, on May 18th, Jean-Jacques Dessalines took down the French flag, ripped out the white band and had Catherine Flon sew the blue and red stripes together, creating the blue and red Haitian flag. Ever since that day, the Haitian people have celebrated May 18th as Flag Day.

This year it has been difficult to celebrate. Gang violence and deep insecurity are inescapable realities. In the southern peninsula where Les Anglais and Les Cayes are located, the looming global food crisis seems to have already arrived. Not only is the region subject to global dynamics, but gang violence in Port-au-Prince has cut off much of the goods and services to them.

Agronomy Programs and Water

Not all the news is bad though! Etienne and his crew of agents and college students have been working hard to help farmers plant cocoa, coffee, and other crops to continue to increase the agriculture production of southern Haiti. Even during the continued fuel shortages and COVID, he and his team are somehow getting good work done.

The team was also able to deliver the rest of the chatados (water tanks) to the people of Pestel who have been without water storage since the earthquake last summer. Their mayor asked Etienne to send us her heartfelt thank you! These three photos show Mayor Marie Helen, a home before receiving a tank, and one of the many grateful people who now has a way to store clean water.

Pestel Mayor Marie Helen
Marie Helen, mayor of Pestel
Water storage before getting a water tank
Collecting and storing rainwater before receiving their new tank
Woman with a new water tank
Woman with a new water tank

We are just starting the community well repair program that we’ve been planning and anticipating since last summer. It has been so difficult to get the well drilling team out to Les Anglais due to damaged roads and a huge backlog of wells needing repair. Haiti Ap Grandi, through Etienne and the well drillers, is hoping to repair four of the six non-working wells in the next few weeks.

School’s Out for Summer!

Our Sister Church in Les Anglais is doing well under the circumstances Haiti is experiencing. A very successful school year has ended and now the congregation is preparing to host nearly 1,000 delegates to a regional convention of MEBSH churches on July 7th to 9th. They ask for prayers that this conference is pleasing to the Lord and builds the body of the church in these difficult times.

Please pray for continued and increasing support of the Hope for Kidz program as the student enrollment continues to increase. We hope to keep sponsoring a large enough percentage of kids to continue the lunch program. (When enough children in a school are sponsored, all the students there receive a hot lunch.)

Photo of children's faces

Finally, RMI is starting to receive teams traveling to Haiti for Vision and Partnership reconnection during the weeks of November 4-9 and November 18-23. I’m not sure that we can participate this year, but please send me an email at jbsstsi@aol.com if you have an interest.

With deep gratitude for your prayers, interest, and support for the people of rural Haiti through Haiti Ap Grandi and our partners at Community of Faith, Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, and Reciprocal Ministries International,
Jim Shaw and the Haiti Ap Grandi board members: Tim Kitch, Robert Jackson, Cindy Jackson, and Kathy Engholm