Gangs attack Cabaret—urgent prayer request

Our hearts are incredibly heavy as we write this update.

Over the last few days, gangs have gained even more ground in Haiti.

United by their desire to force the current leaders of Haiti’s government to step down, different gangs have joined forces to attack any place of governmental authority around the country.

Most notably, a huge prison in Port au Prince was attacked, with an estimated 3,700 inmates escaping. Police stations and government offices across the country have also been attacked and burned.

Closer to home for JiHM, gangs renewed their attempts to take more ground past Source Matelas, which they have held since last April. Yesterday they came into Cabaret, burned the police station, broke into two major banks and damaged more businesses as well.

The gangs then attempted to continue up the national highway toward Arcahaie. They made it as far as Bercy before being turned back by Arcahaie’s militia.

It is widely believed that it is only a matter of days before they attack again, most likely targeting Arcahaie’s police station (located very close to Grace Emmanuel School’s new location) and a prison.

The families of Grace Emmanuel School students and JiHM staff are once again uprooting their lives to try to flee to safer areas. But as one mom said, “We have nowhere else to run.” Roads are blocked northwest and southeast of Arcahaie, and the sea is patrolled by gangs. The only place to flee is into mountains east and northeast.

Given the high risk of an attack near the school right now, JiHM’s leadership made the difficult decision today to suspend school for at least a month. Families are leaving in droves, and will not be able to return unless there is some sort of response—either by Haiti’s government, which seems highly unlikely, or by an outside intervention.

Please pray for protection for the people of Cabaret and Arcahaie. Pray for help to come swiftly.

“I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.”

Psalm 121:1