In 2018 and 2019, Theresa and I and our other coworkers were asked to leave Haiti for months at a time because of violence. Then, because of the virus, Haiti closed the country in March 2020. We were able to return that August and stayed until we became very ill and had to leave for a medical furlough in April 2021. In late August, I returned for a week with two other male coworkers; my wife and the other men’s wives were asked not to go back at that time.
While in Haiti, we met with the pastors and local leaders of our ministry and community. It was the general consensus of those present that the three American families represented should not all return to Maranatha Ministries at that time. The obvious presence of white men, women, and teens might draw unwanted attention to our ministry and perhaps endanger all involved.
However, after consideration, Theresa and I decided we would be willing to try to return to our home in Haiti to continue the ministries. A few days before our scheduled flight at the end of September, we received a call from the head of the ministries where we are serving, telling us that it would not be advisable to return at that time. So, we canceled our flight and moved into a prophet’s chamber in Ft. Meyers, Florida.
Haiti recorded over 1,000 known people kidnapped there in 2021. The American Embassy has sent us numerous emails warning us that “Haiti has a ‘Level 4: DO NOT TRAVEL’ travel advisory for kidnapping, crime, and civil unrest. The travel advisory for Haiti, available at travel.state.gov, notes that kidnapping is widespread and victims regularly include U.S. citizens.”
And in November, another email warned, “The Department of State urges U.S. citizens to make plans to depart Haiti now via commercial means. U.S. citizens should carefully consider the risks of traveling to or remaining in Haiti in light of the current security situation and infrastructure challenges. Widespread fuel shortages may limit essential services in an emergency . . . The U.S. Embassy is unlikely to be able to assist U.S. citizens in Haiti with departure . . . .”
So, with all that in mind . . .
1. We have been in the States, staying in Florida and awaiting the possibility of returning to our home and ministry in Haiti.
2. The State Department “urges” U.S. citizens to depart from Haiti or not to travel there.
3. All other families connected with our Maranatha Ministries have made other temporary plans outside of Haiti.
4. We have sent funds back to Haiti to help support costs there; our churches and schools continue to operate.
5. We have explored other options for ministry in the Caribbean.
6. My wife still sees a doctor here in Ft. Meyers for therapy on her knees, which have improved very much.
7. We continue regular soul winning and house-to-house door knocking in Ft. Meyers, where there is a large concentration of Haitians.
8. A Haitian “pastor” has approached us about helping him start a ministry here. We are proceeding with caution.
We appreciate your prayers and support during these uncertain times.
Keith & Theresa Baker