In general, Haitians are very patient and amazingly tolerant of their very poor living conditions. However, every now and then, they become frustrated and want “their voice to be heard”. The common way they do this is with what’s called a ‘manifestation’. They do something very visible in one of the main roads, such as turn over a car and set it on fire, drag a bunch of tires out in the road and set them on fire, create a roadblock, etc.
This past Wednesday they turned three semi-trailers crossways in the main road running through our town and blocked all traffic for a couple of hours. Finally, the police came and dispersed the crowd and got the semi-trailers moved. We were going to Port-Au-Prince that morning to pick up one of our ministry partners at the airport at 9 am, and were fortunate to get there by 10 am. Today, ‘the restless ones’ were at it again as they built a wall of large rocks in the middle of the road and stopped traffic most of the morning. They also set up a second barricade at the (only) bridge and stopped traffic in a second place with a crossways semi-trailer. The main road through our town is the main (and actually the only) north-south road in Haiti from Port-au-Prince to St. Marc and on up to Cap Haitien.
So what are they protesting? Lack of electricity. As the city of Montrouis gets ready to celebrate its birthday on June 24, the level of frustration over the lack of electricity is intensifying. Unless you are fortunate enough to have your own generator (or solar panels – which are very rare)… AND have the money to continue filling your generator with gas or diesel, you don’t have electricity. Government-supplied electricity is essentially worthless – maybe 6-10 hours a week, and you never know when those precious few hours will come.
We also think of the many people here who were affected by the road closure – those who needed to get to and from the airport, conduct business, get necessary supplies, or make an emergency trip to a hospital. For sure, this present life is full of frustration and problems, whether you live in Haiti or America. As we think about this life’s temporary troubles, we pray they’ll cause people everywhere to look to the One who offers the only real solution to this life’s GREATEST need… new life in Christ!