Saturday, September 19, 2009

haiti update - september 19, 2009

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20

Hi! Friday was a violent day. First thing in the morning the guys told me that somebody had been killed during the evening in the Delmas 31 neighborhood. It happened at a home near the soccer field. I went over to find out if it was anyone I knew. Jude, a Haitian man I have known for years came up to me and greeted me. The person killed was his friend. He had been hacked to death with a machete during the evening inside his home. The killer(s) had left the machete inside the home. Jude had spoken with him the prior afternoon by telephone and there was no indication of any problems. The strange thing is that the people who live in the house with him said that they didn’t know that anything was going on. The area where the house is located is down a narrow corridor with houses connected together down the corridor. People living there said they didn’t hear anything. They heard no signs of a struggle while this man was being killed. The police were there conducting an investigation and a man was handcuffed in the back of the police truck. The police were angry with him. He was one of the people inside the house during the evening. A policeman from the DCPJ (unit which conducts investigations) came out with a bag holding a pair of tennis shoes. The guys here at Coram Deo couldn’t understand either how he could die like that without anyone knowing. They saw this man at a soccer match the prior afternoon. The body was found on the second story of the home. On the first floor was the family business. They had a boutique and he also lent money to those who needed it along with charging interest. He has a daughter living in New York. Later in the afternoon after the police questioned the man that was in handcuffs it was determined that this man let the killers into the house. The killers were part of a gang located in the Delmas 19/ Cite Aux Cayes area called Tete Mur (Top of the Wall). Police arrested members of this gang. Pray for the family of this man and for Jude as he has lost his friend and for the police investigation; that those who did this act will be caught and punished.
Around noon Jn. Eddy came to me upset after receiving a phone call to come downtown as his mother was having problems. They didn’t say what problems she was having. I drove Jn. Eddy to the cathedral area downtown. There is a large market around the front street of the cathedral. Many people in Haiti try to make a living selling things on the streets in the downtown area and on other streets of Port-au-Prince. Jn. Eddy’s mother has sold in this market for several years already. Last week his mother was sick and Jn. Eddy’s sister was opening up the family stand hoping to make some sales during the day. As she was setting everything up on display, a man came up to her and tapped her on the shoulder. He asked her why was she selling there and informed her that there would be consequences for selling in that location. He stepped back, and took a gun out of his knapsack. Jn. Eddy’s sister reacted quickly and started to run. The people in the area noticed the gun and started screaming. The man did not pursue after Jn. Eddy’s sister and he left after noticing a police patrol in the area. Jn. Eddy was concerned that the phone call he got was related to last weeks’ incident and he was concerned for his mother’s safety. In the incident that took place today another market seller came with her supporters and was angry with Jn. Eddy’s mother. His mother ended up getting knocked to the ground with a blow from a rock. Because many people try to make a living selling, other people try to take other vendor’s positions in the marketplace. People are trying to force out Jn. Eddy’s mother from selling there. He told his mother not to sell there anymore but she keeps telling him that she has been selling there for years and that she needs to support the family. Pray for protection for this woman as she struggles to provide for her family and that she can find another location to sell that is safer.
The school program started on Monday here at Coram Deo and the classes are full. We have around 40 students in both classes. Jackenmy Milien is the teacher of the handicapped class and Jn. Eddy Alexandre is the teacher of the 1st and 2nd grade classes. We had a parent meeting on Thursday to explain the program and also to hand out the book lists. We don’t have the funding to be able to provide the students with books but maybe next year we will be able to. The parents are thankful that their children are going to school and there was a good attendance at the meeting. Adoration Christian school has also been conducting intake testing for their handicapped applicants. We will be contacting CDIA about helping some of their applicants if we can who don’t fit into their new special education program this year. The deaf program at Pastor Leny’s school is starting again and we hope to place Ruth Legagneur into this program. She was part of the handicapped program here at Coram Deo last year. Please pray for all these programs.
Today we went and visited Jacob in Archaie. He is now re-integrating back with his family. He lives with his uncle in Archaie. When I asked the people here at Coram Deo who wanted to go and visit Jacob; everyone wanted to. It is good that Kimosabee can hold the weight because we went with 17 people in the pick-up truck. Jacob is doing well. He lives close to Independence square and his uncle is the caretaker of the church and school that is across the street from their home. I took some time talking with his uncle about what happened to Sammy. Jacob and Sammy were cousins. Jacob’s uncle was Sammy’s cousin. When we re-integrated Sammy with his family the plan was for him to stay in Archaie and not to go back up the mountain to Fond Baptiste. Sammy lived where Jacob now is for 8 months and then went to live with his brother in Fond Baptiste. Sammy and his brother were the inheritors of the family land. In Haiti when the parents die the land is split amongst the children. When Sammy was living at his cousin’s house his brother thought that his cousin would try to get Sammy’s portion of the land as his provider and he insisted that Sammy live with him. This is possibly the reason why he didn’t bring Sammy back down the mountain when he got sick. Now that Sammy is dead his brother has sole ownership of the family property. It is a sad situation but this happens here in Haiti. Several years ago a policeman went up to Fond Baptiste to settle a land dispute and the people killed him and burnt the police vehicle. Pray for Sammy’s brother. We don’t know if everything that was said is the truth or not but God knows what happened and Sammy is in heaven. Pray for Sammy’s brother and the people who live in Fond Baptiste. I want to go up there someday to see where Sammy is buried and to meet with his brother. We will continue to visit Jacob and are in the process of registering him at the school across from his uncle’s home. We will also bring food to help the family out from time to time. Jacob’s uncle is a friendly man and Jacob is comfortable living with him. Please keep Jacob and his uncle’s family in prayer.
That is all the news for today. Have a good week!

Karen Bultje, Coram Deo

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