The news cycle has been filled with the corona virus. Butch Suddath and I just got back from India when cases of the COVID-19 virus jumped from China to other places on the globe. Airport officials are much more alert now to travelers with possible symptoms and some people exposed have been quarantined for 14 days, the maximum incubation time for the virus.
Pastor Reddy reported that the timing of our trip to India in January was blessed by God because they are screening incoming passengers at the international airports. Some have been hit with the virus, others are quarantined.
We were making plans for a trip to Cuba in May through last week but have now cancelled our plans. There were many concerns beyond getting sick. I am thankful God put it into our hearts to cautiously wait before getting our flight reservations.
I have been to Cuba two previous times and each time they have a medical team in the immigration area screening incoming passengers. They have socialized-medicine so they are careful not to have sick tourists entering their country. And this was in more sensible times! I can’t imagine how it would be now.
The reaction (and over reaction) of countries to the COVID-19 concerns us as much as the possibility of getting sick. Many travelers who are perfectly well have been quarantined for fourteen days because they were exposed to someone sick. I understand the concern. When you go through a major international airport, you are exposed to thousands of people from around the world. And when you are closed up in a metal tube 40,000 feet in the air sharing each other’s germs, I can see why they are concerned. We do not operate out of fear but God expects us to walk in wisdom.
Travel to Cuba is also more complicated now. In the past, we flew from Miami to Holguin Airport in Cuba but now with tighter sanctions the only direct flight from Miami is to the capital of Havana. Travel from Havana to our destination in Cuba is very complicated and difficult. So, when we go, it will be necessary to fly from Miami to Panama in Central America and then from Panama to Holguin, Cuba. We have Cuba penciled in for October.
We are hoping to travel to Haiti in June. We are facing problems on two fronts in Haiti. If the COVID-19 hits Haiti, they do not have the resources or facilities to even begin to address the problem. Not only that, they are basically in anarchy because the government and police have lost control to those who are causing the trouble. There is a lot of violence, kidnapping, and robbery. Please pray for Haiti. My heart breaks for them.
On March 5th, the United States State Department increased the travel advisory for Haiti to “Level 4, Do Not Travel” which is the highest level. I have traveled there when it was a 3 and last June it was a Level 4. It was a little sketchy!
Pastor Baptiste has been able to keep the school and church open because we are located in the countryside which gives us some insulation from some of the problems. The trouble in Haiti increases the price of everything and devalues their currency greatly.
Our work in Haiti continues to be blessed with our school and church doing as well as can be expected, in spite of the country’s problems. The protests that previously paralyzed the capital has subsided but has been replaced by chaos that is paralyzing it again. The overall situation in the country is unstable. Please continue to pray for Haiti.
To those of you who support our ministry with your encouragement, prayers, and financial support, we greatly appreciate your faithful help. If you read this update and are not a regular supporter, please pray about helping us financially. We are involved in five countries of the world with the love and life of Jesus. As you have read, we try to take the light and life of Jesus to those who need it most.
Psalms 61:1-4 NKJV
(1) Hear my cry, O God; Attend to my prayer.
(2) From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
(3) For You have been a shelter for me, A strong tower from the enemy.
(4) I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. Selah
Rejoicing in the salvation which is by grace through faith, I am…
Yours on the Journey,
Harry L. Whitt
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