The following report was written by Doug Jarvie this month:
As most of you know, many of the main roads in Haiti have been blockaded by bandits since protests began on Sept 15th. These blockades have made it impossible for our staff to travel and to transport supplies to the Gros-Morne area.
Being unable to deliver containers of food to our depot in Tricotte, coupled with the increasing demand for food aid has depleted our food supply. We had two containers sitting at Food for the Poor (FFP) in Port-au-Prince, with no way to get them delivered. With FFP running out of storage space, and our depot empty, we were praying for God to make a way. After talking the situation over several times during the week, Lucner decided to make an attempt.
On Friday morning, October 25, Lucner hired two trucks to pick up the 84,000lbs of FMSC MannaPack food from FFP. They headed towards Gros-Morne, but only made it about an hour north of Port-au-Prince before being stopped in Arcahaie, where the road was blocked with no way around. They backtracked to the outskirts of PAP, and took the northern route to Mirebalais. This road is about twice as far as the road along the coast.
When they reached Mirebalais, they came upon armed bandits who ordered them to use their trucks to block the road. Because they were armed, the drivers had no choice but to comply. They positioned the two trucks across the road, then the bandits punctured the tires so they couldn’t be moved. Late in the night when the bandits had left, Lucner returned to the trucks with some locals he had hired to repair the tires. With the tires repaired, they fled the area. They encountered many more road blocks on the way to Gonaives, but were able to pay to get through. The owner of the trucking company had hired some men to meet the truck in Gonaives and assist them to get through the roadblocks in the city. They finally arrived in Tricotte at 3:30pm Saturday afternoon.
They unloaded as much as they could on Saturday, but with the massive crowds swarming the trucks, they had to wait until Sunday morning to complete the work. After unloading, Lucner and the drivers quickly left for Port-au-Prince. They made it as far as Terre Rouge, where the road was blocked again. They had to sleep overnight in the truck, then made it through the roadblock in the morning. Near the outskirts of PAP, they encountered burning tires and more bandits. Lucner left the drivers at this point, continuing on foot until he was able to hire a motorcycle to carry him home.
It was a harrowing 4 day journey, but the food made it through. We are so thankful to Lucner for persevering, and for God’s provision of safety for the men and their precious cargo of MannaPack rice. Beginning this week, the roads are blocked again with no way through. Even though the situation in Haiti continues to worsen, we have absolute faith that God will continue to show us the way.
Thank you so much for all your prayers and support for the ministry in Haiti. It is extremely difficult times but we trust God for His provision and He comes through over and over again. I, Bernie, have canceled my trip for November and will wait until things are settled down before making the trip
Serving the Lord together,
Bernie, Sheryl & Philip Bovenkamp