We are saddened to report that kidnappings are on a steep rise in Haiti right now. Lately, these kidnappings have included U.S. citizens. The kidnappers work in highly organized groups, targeting people based upon close observation and on-line intelligence. These gangs are very sophisticated and more heavily armed than the Haitian National Police. Victims are taken to a Port-au-Prince suburb which is gang-controlled and which the police are too outgunned to enter. Cell phones are accessed by the kidnappers to assess relative wealth potential and ransom and also used in order to contact the victims’ families or companies. Amounts are typically requested in both U.S. dollars and in Haitian gourdes, as there are limits on foreign transfers into Haiti in U.S. dollars. To make matters more complicated, the Haitian National Police are currently on strike. Because of this latest trend which also targets Americans, we have decided to extend our ban on persons traveling directly to Haiti until the situation improves. Much prayer is needed at this time for the nation of Haiti. As Pastor Paul so ably puts it in the video below, the trials and troubles among the Haitian people should not cause us to draw back from them or our commitment to them, but should encourage us to labor, pray, and support all the more in the days ahead.