Updated: Mar 25, 2022
January 20, 2022
Dear friends of myLIFEspeaks,
Until now, we purposefully haven’t made an official statement or public announcement with an update about our ministry and the instability in Haiti for two reasons:
1) We intentionally choose to shine the light on all the good that God is doing in our midst rather than giving evil and negativity more power and attention unless absolutely necessary.
2) For the safety and precautionary concerns for both our Haitian staff and American staff living in Haiti during these uncertain and tumultuous times. We continue to tread carefully to not further endanger our friends, family, Haitian employees, and counterparts who do remain in Haiti without the legal option of leaving at this time.
However, we are now at a place where most of our American staff, who prayerfully and painfully discerned to temporarily leave Haiti for safety, are out of immediate threat or danger. Now we feel comfortable sharing our current ministry realities with you.
What is happening in Haiti?
Just when we thought it couldn’t possibly get worse, somehow it continues to get worse. The country of Haiti is essentially in a state of civil war and political and economic unrest. In addition to daily kidnappings and robberies, the terrorist gangs are now dictating fuel distribution across the country. Considering Haiti isn’t powered by an electric grid, businesses fully rely on diesel-fueled generators for power. Without fuel, generators cannot operate and businesses, banks, and hospitals have been forced to close. This causes Haitians to lack access to basic needs to survive.
Unfortunately, the Haitian people are living in a constant state of fear not knowing when the next violent act is going to happen. This fear is causing many Haitians to feel like prisoners in their own communities and country.
The overall situation is very complex and has forced us to make the painful decision to request our American Staff living in Haiti to temporarily reside in the United States.
Why we made the decision to temporarily pull our American staff out of Haiti:
Due to the recent kidnappings for ransom of Americans in Haiti and media outlets confirming there was indeed a ransom paid for their release, our Board of Directors advised all American employees of myLIFEspeaks to leave Haiti immediately until further notice. Our American staff had to make the grueling decision to either leave their home in Haiti and in some cases their husbands, families, and loved ones behind OR stay in Haiti where their life was at daily risk.
Our American staff understood that IF they chose to stay in Haiti and happened to be kidnapped as a result, myLIFEspeaks would not and could not pay for their release due to a no-ransom policy in place.
With gangs running rampant and now a precedent set that they could get $1 million or more for each American they kidnap and hold hostage, this is a very real and terrifying reality.
This temporary exit, in conjunction with the slews of growing instability and threats to personal security and safety of both our Haitian and American staff, was determined to be the safest option for all involved. Our Board of Directors and Security Council will be reviewing this decision in upcoming months to determine when/if it is safe for our American staff to return to Haiti.
How ministry continues to operate in American absence:
Thankfully, over our 10 years of ministry, we have worked intentionally to empower Haitians to take on the majority of leadership roles on-ground. To quote Co-Founder and CEO, Mike Wilson, “Our goal as a ministry has always been to work ourselves, as American missionaries, out of a job by empowering our Haitian counterparts to take the reins and lead their community by example.”
As of today, myLIFEspeaks is a 95% Haitian-led ministry on-ground. Our 16 Haitian department heads are currently running day-to-day operations while our American staff is assuming more high-level oversight for their departments from the United States.
In the absence of our full-time American missionary staff in Haiti, we are grateful for God’s provision in this situation. He had prepared us to be able to continue ministry through our Haitian leadership during this time.
How you can be praying over myLIFEspeaks at this time:
Our Haitian staff is actively and potentially risking their own lives by continuing to commute to work and continue serving the community daily. Although they don’t have as much of an obvious target on their backs, they are still in potential danger simply because of their association with an American-tied ministry.
Pray for spiritual and physical protection and provision over all those affected, both in our ministry and all others struggling to navigate the same dual-edge sword we are.
Pray for a miracle and a Holy Spirit revival to sweep over the country of Haiti and claim it once and for all for Jesus instead of its long history of dedication to evil. This is our only hope ultimately for the country’s long-lasting transformation.
Pray for a transformation of hearts of those causing violence, political chaos, economic downfall, and corruption. Pray for a ‘Saul-to-Paul’ conversion in their hearts and minds.
All this to say…. Haiti is in a very real spiritual battle.
Although this is not how we imagined spending our 10th year of ministry, we continue to cling to God’s sovereignty over our lives and over Haiti.
As Ephesians 6:12 tells us, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Thank you for allowing us to share our hearts with you. We ask that you continue to fervently pray for us during this immensely difficult time for Haiti and our ministry.