“Those who look to Him for help will be radiant with Joy….” – Psalm 34:5a
We’ve been hesitant to share what all Haiti has truly been going through, for many reasons. We are so new here, so much to learn, that we don’t feel adequate enough in the knowledge of all that is going on, to be able to have a voice about it. So instead, we have been listening, loving, supporting and encouraging those that do. We also never want to come across and share information in a way that is not completely accurate or inflammatory, similar to what media does. We also don’t want to NOT share anything at all because we know that leaves you all in the dark to knowing what truly is going on and how you can specifically be praying for our family and for the country in Haiti.
Pretty much right after we moved here, all chaos broke loose in the country. Jim teases that it was because the Starkey family moved in. 😉 It has been building up for quite some time and the country has already been going through a lot in the past year. However, the past 2 months has been a whole other level of hardship for this beautiful country. In summary, there are many things from government & politics, to fuel shortages, economic situations and more that are playing into this. Due to all of these issues that are VERY big, the past two months the country has been without fuel for the most part in many areas and lack of food in many areas due to roadblocks/manifestations stopping the food and fuel from getting out of Port Au Prince and going to the rest of the country. Many schools, including those in our area, have been closed and barely open if opened at all since the start of school. Gangs are sadly taking advantage of the crisis and adding fuel to the fire of all that is going on. There has been so much turmoil that has happened just because of the roads not being safe and clear for passage through.
We have not been able to have any teams so far and have to keep cancelling them for their safety. I am thankful RMI takes that seriously and puts the priority of our teams safety when thinking about teams coming in. We also can hardly get out to the schools where our Hope for Kidz sponsorship programs are, because of safety. We have not been able to to travel hardly anywhere outside of our village and Cite Lumiere center due to all of the widespread turmoil. The boys have had a lot of school at home or half days in other locations, to help protect them against all that is going on. This has caused for many days of trying to be creative with our family, and trying to think of things to do in our home or on the little center we live on, so that we don’t go stir-crazy!
Even with all the protests, manifestations and roadblocks, we still feel VERY called to be here right now. While many parts of the country are not safe, and roads many days are not safe, we feel VERY safe in our little village/center where we live. The people here have only been kind & welcoming and have shown how they are watching out for our family. So we praise God for where we live. We at least have a yard the boys can play in and a 2-3 minute ATV drive area that is still safe for us to go.
We have been so grateful with how our field director here in Haiti with RMI has handled all of this. We are so grateful for the RMI family here in Haiti that we get to do life with. We love them so much already and praise God for everyday the office is open when we can all come together in the mornings for devotions. It strengthens each of us, to be together! We have had many beautiful times of prayer on our knees and in circles together as an RMI family, praying for each other and for this country. We have had great devotions on reminding us of the JOY we can have in Jesus despite our circumstances, on even when we go through a valley God is WITH us and that even if this isn’t what we thought we would be doing or expect, God is still working in the small things, in the things we wouldn’t have thought He would be! He just asks for our daily obedience, our surrender to Him and seeking Him to see what He wants from us that day. He has impressed on our hearts a lot about all that He can do through this situation to bring Him glory, people to His kingdom and that we just need to trust Him.
Please pray for Haiti! Pray for Godly people to rise up with boldness and courage to help lead this country in the way it needs to go. Pray for their protection. Pray for a permanent solution to the fuel crisis and government issues. Pray for the hearts of those causing destruction, to be turned towards God. Pray for the people of Haiti. They are going through so much, have so little and are so worn. Pray for strength, encouragement, protection, and provision for them. Pray for RMI, for wisdom in this new season with how they would handle it, how we can be a light during this time, and what God would want our RMI family to be doing during this time in Haiti. I believe God is working MIGHTILY in this crisis. I see their faith, their utter dependence on Him, their cries out to Him. He is listening, He HEARS THEM, He loves them and He has plans for them. So we do not give up HOPE because we know He is working!!!!
Despite all that we shared above, God has truly blessed our transition here. The boys have transitioned way better than we could have asked for. We are human, so we still have hard days, days that tears come because we miss family so much. However, God is so good and has helped us through this transition. The boys are enjoying school and their new friends. They love our home & yard here and play outside A LOT. They love the weather and that it’s always summer here. Isaac has enjoyed making juices with the new fruits we have found here in Haiti, Kiah loves finding new tarantulas and bugs to play with and Zeke loves to play with Merita, one of the ladies who helps at our house. She is so good with him and helps play with him when we are studying our Creole, having lessons etc. We had our first bout of illness with Isaac but praise God, it was nothing too serious and he is healed now. We have learned that through moments like that, it just helps us depend on Him more, seek Him more and so through those moments, we grow closer to Him. Jim turned 35 last week so we celebrated him with tacos! We experienced our first earthquake as well in our second month. It was a 4.6 and was in the ocean right outside our city so April actually felt the house move when it happened. Praise God nothing bad came from it and we all were safe.
PRAISING GOD FOR GREAT NEWS!
With the fuel crisis in the country, we realized how beneficial having solar panels would be for our family. Having solar panels would allow us to not have to rely on if we had diesel or not and would allow us to Lord willing, have 24/7 electric for our family. It would also cut down on our monthly utility bills as well, having solar panels. However, solar panels are not cheap and so we had just started talking about putting in our next newsletter, the need for them and we were going to do a fundraiser for them. However, God had another plan! A friend of mine from school days, contacted us and wanted to help us and asked how. We shared with him a few ways and God laid it on his heart to actually fund the ENTIRE project for our solar panels. They are PAID IN FULL and will be installed very soon. Not only does this help our family but this gives RMI work as well as they will be the ones installing them. Jim actually went out with the team a week or so ago to start learning how to install them as well. So we praise God for our friend and his willingness to follow Gods leading in this way to provide for our family. We praise God for this gift and are so excited to have these installed soon!
- For Haiti! Please see first section for specific ways to pray.
- For our family as we seek the Lord each day, on what He would have us do in this season.
- Thank you for those who have been praying for Isaac. His schooling is improving slowly but he has a long ways to go so please continue to pray for wisdom for us & his teacher to know how best to help him and for healing in his body so he overcome the struggles he has.
- We have three close family members who are going through hard health situations right now. April’s sister Monica & April’s aunt Nina both just had surgery and are healing. April’s dear cousin Laura is currently in the hospital fighting some life threatening situations with her asthma.
We are still in need of monthly supporters, so if you have been following our journey and would like to become a part of our support team, CLICK HERE or contact us and let us know! We would LOVE to have you on our team and it would be a great encouragement as well. Thank you to all of our current monthly supporters, YOUR sacrifice of giving, is allowing us to be here in Haiti doing whatever God asks us to do. THANK YOU SO MUCH! Thank you everyone for your prayers, your encouragement, care packages etc. You will never know what all of that means to us! WE THANK GOD FOR EACH OF YOU!
Love, The Starkey Family