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Light Matters Most

Have you seen the recent news coming out of Haiti? You may be asking which headline. President Jovenel Moïse’s assassination shocked the nation, the first presidential assassination in Haiti in over 100 years; in August a devastating earthquake struck the southwest peninsula followed by a tropical storm just two days later; and for the past two weeks more than forty planes have flown into Port au Prince with Haitians who had sought asylum in the United States. These recent tragedies further challenge a nation whose resources have been stripped for centuries and compound each other to directly affect every aspect of the lives of those we love in Terrier Rouge. Those at Espérance et Vie and Jatrofa Projenou are feeling the weight of these tragedies on their jobs, their health, and how they meet their daily basic needs. And after the past two years with all that has happened in the U.S and throughout the world, we all can more deeply understand what compounding tragedies can do to the spirit.

I know it’s devastating to see our loved ones face tragedy after tragedy. It can be overwhelming to think about how best to help. Where do we even start? The classic parable of “teach a man to fish to feed them for a lifetime” has often been quoted in nonprofit work, but as journalist Jonathan M. Katz said best, “Haitians are, by necessity, the most self-sufficient, creative people that you will ever meet in your life. If any country in the world is full of people who could teach us how to fish, it’s Haiti. The problem isn’t a lack of know-how. It isn’t a lack of desire or will. It is really a lack of material resources.” We know firsthand this is true after decades of working alongside Haitians in their own communities. The school, the clinic, the farm, and every other program Bethlehem Ministry supports began and continues to succeed with the know-how, desire, and will of Haitians because they have been empowered with resources by generous donors like you.

In 2021 alone…

  • Espérance et Vie donated critical supplies to those affected by the earthquake and tropical storm. Water, rice, gloves, medicine, sleeping pads, toilet paper, and more were sent to the southwest peninsula.

  • The incredible teachers and dedicated students at St. Barthélémy overcame huge obstacles with patience and determination to complete the 2020-2021 school year, and 100% of the 9th graders passed their national exams! Students returned to school September 21 to begin the new academic year.

  • The doctors at Clinique Espérance et Vie continued to provide care at little or no cost including general medicine, ophthalmology, surgery, pharmaceutical, and laboratory services.

  • Jatrofa Projenou planted more than 5 acres of woodlots that will be sustainably harvested for wood in order to generate incomes and protect the land. The program also planted 3,000 yams that can be harvested and stored for months without spoilage. This will reduce food insecurity and generate income as well.

Resources made all of that possible. Resources bring hope in the wake of the compounding tragedies. That is why each October we launch our annual campaign, Hope & Life, a campaign that helps us sustain these life-changing services throughout the year and shows our faithful support to Espérance et Vie and Jatrofa Projenou. Every donation Bethlehem Ministry receives allows us to continue serving Haiti in the best way we know how, person by person, family by family, community by community, empowering Haitians directly.

Light matters most when things are at their darkest. You, our Bethlehem Ministry family, have been a light for thousands of Haitians when tragedy has darkened their beloved country. You are a torchbearer of Hope and we are grateful for your light that shines so brightly.

All the best,

Kristen Pace

Executive Director


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