Dear Haiti Friends,

Various Haiti news items:

Kenya has indicated to the UN that it is prepared to send in 1,000 police to bolster the Haitian police force.  The UN has proposed direct assistance but has until now been unable to find a country willing to take the lead.  As always, we hope and pray that the assistance will be effective and will also not be carried out in a way that ultimately brings harm to Haiti as so much other past assistance has done. You may have seen in the news that an American nurse married to a Haitian and their child have been kidnapped, a double blow as nurses are so useful and needed in Haiti.  

Some of the Episcopal school partners in this e-mail community have received information about the reassignment of some of the clergy, something that happens every summer.  The notes also indicated that some of the clergy are no longer working actively with the church.  I would urge that you be very circumspect in asking for details.  Persons who have applied for asylum or TPS are experiencing VERY long waits — I know of one friend with papers in order, a robust sponsor, a place to live, and a good job waiting who has been on the list since January with no progress.  Persons applying to leave are at great risk because of the supposition that they have American sponsors who would willingly pay ransom.  Some have been driven into hiding when property was destroyed as a “warning.”  In addition, as though things weren’t complicated enough, the controversy in the Episcopal Church over the former employee who was smuggling arms for the G-9 gang using the franchise (basically, the non-profit tax ID number) of the church to bring weapons into Haiti from the US and South America has meant upheaval in the church leadership, and some clergy may (wisely!) prefer not to take sides until those conflicts are resolved.  That’s more information than most of you want, but suffice it to say that people may be acting from motives that they will have difficulty talking about without personal risk to themselves or to others of one kind or another.  Please continue to be supportive — your friendships mean a lot to your partners and former partners.

Turning to something a bit more hopeful:  Les Grenadieres (the Haitian women’s soccer team) lost their games to England and China, both 1-0.  Holding these two teams to one goal is a huge feat; however, as I understand it (and I’m a weak reference to cite when it comes to sports) in order to stay in the tournament, they must beat their next opponent, Denmark, by at least two goals.  The game is very early tomorrow morning (4:00am in California).  Send good thoughts their way!

Keeping partnerships alive during these troubled times:  I am forwarding information on a partnership website and podcast courtesy of Stan Shaffer and Jerry Harner — see the links below my signature, in case you would like to see a little bit about another partnership’s work.  Stan says, “St. Andrew’s Kansas City raised over $40,000 in an evening to keep its school lunch program going in Maniche, Haiti.  Our partnership has changed without visits, but it still thrives.  I’m sharing the podcast because it centers on the relationship, not the obstacles.  The partnership is a gift to us…”