Haiti and COVID–19

We wanted to update our mission partners on how the Covid-19 pandemic affects our Souls Winning Ministries projects and programs in Haiti. With all of the difficulties and distractions we are all facing here in the United States, it can be easy for us to forget about the great impacts about to hit Haiti through the arrival of the Corona Virus. Haiti news outlets (see www.haitilibre.com) are reporting, as of Thursday, March 26, 2020, that there are now eight confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Haiti. Also, the Cuban government has dispatched a “medical brigade of 348 doctors and nurses in Haiti as part of the fight against the Covid-19” according to Chancellor Claude Joseph. The Dominican Republic, which shares the island with Haiti, is reporting 379 active cases of the virus with 10 deaths, as well as 457 under investigation as probable cases.

Both Haiti and the Dominican Republic have now closed their international airport to flights from outside their countries, with the exception of mail and other cargo. The border crossings between Haiti and the Dominican Republic will be fully closed on Saturday, March 27, although the Haitians closed their borders for the most part a week ago. The implementation of this travel ban into the island of Hispaniola has left our brother Jean Paul with us in the United States. We were directed to reschedule or to cancel his Delta flight two days prior to his intended departure. We do not know at this stage when Pastor Paul will be allowed to return to Haiti. While he is out of the country, management of Souls Winning Ministries and the handling of worship for the churches in his network will be handled by Pastor Daniel, Pastor Osseille, Pastor Maxito, and some staff members such as Wisnel, Jacky, and Junior. We ask that you be in daily prayer for these brothers as they carry a heavy ministry load and will now be under the added stress of the introduction of the Covid-19 virus into their already chaotic situation.

Our primary concern right now is our partner medical clinic, the Clinique Medicale de la Reforme, which is located on the primary Souls Winning compound. At the present time, there is little in the way of a robust medical network system or coordinated hospital system in Haiti. Should the transmission of this virus escalate as it has elsewhere, the Haitian medical care system will collapse and the already over-stretched resources will be quickly exhausted. Normally, when crises of this sort strike Haiti, the United States and other international partners can come in and provide much needed assistance to help the Haitians weather the crisis. This of course will not be possible for the next few weeks and perhaps months as every other nation’s healthcare system in swamped with patient and resource load. Our concern, therefore is that our medical clinic partner will be quickly inundated with hundreds if not thousands of suspected Covid-19 cases and will have to deal with such a medical disaster without enough trained medical staff and needed supplies. We are asking for our ministry partners to consider above and beyond giving at this time, whether $20 or $200 or $2,000, in order to provide direct financial assistance to the clinic so that the staff can be paid for working more hours and so that the needed supplies can be obtained. We may also have to supplement the clinic’s staff with other people from Souls Winning, who can handle the less specialized work of intake, taking vitals, and managing patient flow. As it is not possible to ship supplies in a timely fashion, nor in quantities sufficient to fill a container (that will have to await our July shipment), we are asking for monetary giving in the short run to meet the expected emergency about to occur in Haiti. Your prayers as always, are also essential and also ask you to engage daily in prayer for the situation in Haiti and for the clinic, even as you are praying for our own national medical emergency. 

As always, we thank God for all of you, for your constant prayers, and for your faithfulness in giving. God is daily glorified among the people of Haiti because of your involvement with this crucial kingdom ministry.

Blessings in God’s Grace,

Rev. Martin Hawley

Rev. Jean Paul of Souls Winning Ministries in Haiti shares his concerns for addressing the looming Covid-19 virus with the inadequate and unprepared health system in Haiti. The Souls Winning medical clinic will be on the front lines fighting the pandemic in their community and other neighborhoods close by as the few hospitals and small clinics in their area lack staffing, beds, and supplies to deal with the crisis. Jean asks our faithful ministry partners to consider giving added support to the medical clinic, allowing it to hire more temporary staff, obtain essential medical supplies, and compensate the existing staff for the extremely long hours that will be required.