News and social media feeds have once again focused their attention on Haiti over the past few weeks, and for good reason as the reports out of Port Au Prince are appalling and heartbreaking. There are many sources offering perspective on what is going on and what led Haiti to this point. Here is a recent report from CBS that shares one perspective on the situation in Haiti currently.
How is COTP?  
This is a question we hear daily right now. It’s one of the reasons we love you all, and your care for the mission and people of COTP. You want to know how we are doing. You want to know how to pray for us. You see the news reports and worry about how closely this is all impacting COTP.
Thank you for your care. The honest answer is both simple and complex.
The simple answer: We are safe and we are grateful for the relative safety we’ve experienced in Northern Haiti over the past 4 years.  
Haiti is a small nation. However, the reality is that there are 2 versions of Haiti right now. There is Port Au Prince, the nation’s capital and largest city by far. Nearly all news stories you see in the media are covering the political instability and gang violence happening in the capital.  
The other Haiti is the countryside and the other major cities. COTP is located in the countryside just South of Cap Haitian, Haiti’s 2nd largest city. Like any major city, Cap experienced violence and other issues. However, the city and region have taken pride in the fact that the trends in Port Au Prince have not made their way to Cap Haitian. It’s not been easy, but we’ve seen a unified effort of police, community leaders, businesses, NGO’s and even local gangs to preserve the relative peace in our region. This has allowed our region to operate relatively normal for the past few years.  
There have been moments or short seasons of crisis in Cap Haitian, where events in Port impact life and operations in Cap in some way. We are currently in the midst of one of these seasons. However, it is our hope that this season will pass soon and our region will continue to move forward, providing a reminder to the nation and the world that Haiti is still fighting for peace and progress.
The complex answer:  The events in Port Au Prince impact us in other ways. 
Here are the current challenges we are facing:

1.  It’s heavy. This isn’t some far off conflict. These are our people and the nation we love. It’s estimated that half of the gangs are made up of minors, desperate young people who feel they have no other options. It’s human to want to blame or hate the perpetrators, until we realize that they are just humans like you and I. People make unthinkable choices when they endure unthinkable situations. This is heavy. We want distance, but we can’t. These are our people. This situation is traumatic for all of us. This trauma will have residual effects on all of us long after the situation is resolved.

2.  Planning is exhausting: Though we are thankful for the stability we’ve felt locally, we are also exhausted by having to plan for such a wide scope of scenarios. We’ve made great strides toward transformational, proactive programs. Yet we still have to prepare for emergency worst case scenarios. We have to be flexible, and have plans A, B, C, D….planned. Ultimately, we have to trust that God will provide and move through our plans, and beyond.
3.  Resources: The biggest physical challenge we face is in the availability of resources. The events in Port Au Prince have caused shortages of food and fuel, driving up costs and malnutrition. The needs are increasing, while the availability of resources has been diminished. This makes our programs more important, and at the same time harder to operate.
4.  Travel: All flights in and out of Haiti have essentially been grounded for the past week and a half. For the past 4 years, the International airport in Cap has been consistently open with flights. The current shutdown does not appear to be a result of an imminent threat in Cap, but rather a broader policy in Haiti at the moment. We are hopeful flights will resume soon. If they do not, it limits our ability to move in and out of Haiti.  
5.  International Adoption: Finally, another concern is for our children and families in the process of adoption. This process requires offices and processes in Port Au Prince to remain operational. Thankfully, the process has proceeded over the past 4 years. The recent events have raised concerns about IBESR’s ability to continue processing adoptions, and an International response to explore solutions. Our hearts are with the people involved in these very personal transitions: the children who are awaiting massive life changes, the caregivers who will have to say goodbye, biological family members wrestling with the emotions of the situation, adoptive families concerned about the safety of their adoptive child. We hurt for them and pray for resolution, and peace in the meanwhile.
Bondye konnen.…God knows.
There is simple wisdom and comfort in knowing that the God of the universe knows what we do not, and is in control of all things even when things feel out of control.