Generally on teams, I try to bring into Haiti as much US money as I will need for the team because the banks in Haiti will hold your funds for thirty days to be sure your check is good. I can’t wait thirty days as workers need to be paid!! The problem with this is that I will at times have a bunch of US cash on me because I generally don’t have a secure place to keep it. I’ve been doing this for years. When I need to exchange my US cash into Haitian money, I go to a market run by a friend of mine.
Often I hear of a missionary or wealthy Haitian being shot as they are leaving a bank or being robbed at their home or on the streets. A poor Haitian that gives crooks information on who has money will receive a “referral fee” for such information. I can’t blame them as their poverty is so severe. Because many poor Haitian workers at the orphanage and many more in the village know that I carry a lot of money at times, I have really expected to be robbed. I’ve even rehearsed how I would respond.
Yesterday we went to Petionville to make such an exchange of US cash for Haitian. The store proprietor told me he needed cash himself so he sent his long time friend and trusted employee to the bank for our cash and his. As the employee left the bank he was shot and killed. I cannot express the grief that I feel for my friend. It is only by the grace of God that I’ve been spared being robbed.
I know that I ask for prayer on most every blog but I again must ask for prayer for this family. They are really shook up. Thank you for praying for God’s peace for my friend and his family.
John H Leininger