Unless you’ve spent time in Haiti it will be hard to comprehend what I mean when I say – Haiti. Is. Hard.
There are little infrastructures like reliable electricity, sewer systems and efficient or sometimes just functional roads. There’s famine in southern Haiti from last year’s hurricane Matthew, little to no medical system, no free public schools, and well, the list goes on and on.
For those who live and work there, when things go wrong we just say – because: Haiti. It’s amazing how plans can crumble. For ZoeRoots ministry that can translate into planning events taking 5 times as long as you would think and then still falling apart last minute because of roads blocked by burning tires or flooding or illness.
Today I am writing to ask for your help for hurting, tired servants. We are hosting our second Breathe Retreat for missionaries and expats on Nov 7-11. We are registering people at a much faster pace than our first retreat – the guests from May have done a great job of telling their friends! Our kids program is already full. Our adults coming are exhausted and discouraged. I’ve been thinking about them a lot today as I am very discouraged. Discouragement can really zap you of focus, energy, and purpose.
I’m discouraged because we are planning this Breathe Retreat plus our first Family Preservation Symposium and the plans – in Haiti – across cultures – have come together beautifully. It’s like a Christmas miracle! 😊 But what is not coming together are funds.
We are very low on our scholarship funds for Breathe Retreat. Most cannot afford the retreat even though we pinch blood out of our pennies to keep the costs low. It’s a real challenge to get missionaries and humanitarian expats to take time for themselves. They ‘know’ that they should or they will burn out. But when you live surrounded by such extreme poverty it is easy to give all your resources to others. Because of that we raise scholarship funds to award to people who really need to come to Breathe Retreat but who cannot because of money. A few of those examples for this retreat:
We have a couple with two children from northern, rural Haiti. They went to serve in an orphanage only to discover that the 40 children are beaten daily, malnourished, and being sexually abused. They have reported the orphanage and are in a fight to move the kids into a better situation. They have been threatened, harassed, and told to leave.
We have a single woman who works in education in rural Haiti where nearly the entire village is illiterate. She’s lonely and isolated.
We have a couple and their three children from Port au Prince requesting to come again. They attended in May but are still really struggling. They run a safehouse for sexually trafficked girls. They received a five year old girl last week and just days later one of their twelve year old girls gave birth. They see the dark of darkest abuse and evil.
We have a young couple who run a maternity center in southern Haiti. They also run a recycling business to clean up Haiti and employ parents. They are foster parents, recently adopted an adorable HIV+ toddler, and are expecting their first baby any day. What used to energize them about Haiti now depletes them. They desperately need a break.
If you can help today, with any amount, so that we can provide scholarships to our Breathe Retreat guests you will be instrumental in breathing life back into these servants and so many more. The four day, all- inclusive retreat is $350. All monies marked ‘scholarship’ will be accrued and then divided among our guests. We will award on both financial need and risk of health and soul. This is a time sensitive request as we need to pay for our Breathe Retreat lodging to lock in our costs. Please donate today and indicate ‘scholarship’ in memo!
And would you also please pray for Haiti as hurricane Irma approaches? Everyone is holding their breath as another hurricane in Haiti would be grave. I head to Haiti the end of this month to host our first faith based Family Preservation Symposium. It’s going to be amazing but I am nervous – it is quite the undertaking, we have a packed schedule, and people are coming from all over the island. We hope to be instrumental in preventing more situations where children lose their families because of poverty only to end up abused in an orphanage. Please pray for me, and for those who will present sessions, and those who will attend on September 29th.