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Invisible Victims: Haitians in the Dominican Republic

During a recent mission trip to the Dominican Republic, I gained firsthand insight into the daily suffering endured by the Haitian community living there.

Alongside fellow missionaries and medical professionals, we brought medical aid—medicine, food, financial assistance, and, perhaps most importantly, the love of God—to those abandoned by the Dominican government.

In March of 2024, I had the privilege of visiting a beautiful yet heartbreaking Caribbean island—a land marred by the division between two nations: Haiti and the Dominican Republic. This division isn't equal; it isn't down the middle.

Approximately a third of the island belongs to Haiti, while the remaining two-thirds constitute the Dominican Republic. The segregation between these two countries is glaringly evident. Haiti stands as the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, where individuals struggle to survive on a mere $2 per day. On the contrary, the Dominican Republic’s economy is over 1000% larger than the Haitian economy. The estimated annual per capita economic output (PPP) is $1,819 US in Haiti and $20,625 US in the Dominican Republic.

Tragically, Haitians are prohibited from crossing over into the Dominican Republic without a Visa. However, the dire state of emergency, chaos, and anarchy prevailing in Haiti drive many to attempt crossing the border illegally in search of a better life. Yet, upon their arrival to the DR, they are stripped of their basic human rights—deprived of healthcare, food, clean water, and dignity. Many of these individuals do not have access to health care, or even the opportunity to earn an honest living. 

Picture this: Imagine being born in the Dominican Republic to Haitian parents. Despite calling this place home, you're constantly viewed as an outsider. Now, imagine the fear passing through you at the mere thought of being forcibly sent to a foreign country, away from everything familiar—your family, your friends, your language. Every day, people around you are losing their lives because they lack access to vital medical care. And the constant dread of being targeted by law enforcement solely based on the color of your skin—it's a reality that weighs heavily on your mind. The reality is that this injustice is currently happening to thousands of Haitians in the DR right now.

The suffering endured by these individuals remains largely invisible, absent from mainstream media or public discourse. Yet, witnessing their anguish firsthand, I refuse to stay silent. Now, more than ever, it's crucial that we extend a helping hand to our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

If you feel deeply moved by the hardships faced by the Haitian community in the Dominican Republic, I invite you to join me in offering prayers for those enduring hardship and for the missionaries embarking on their journey to the DR. Let us not underestimate the power of prayer. Additionally, I strongly urge you to consider joining us on a mission trip, where you can actively contribute and make a tangible impact. Your presence, support, and empathy have the potential to instill hope in the lives of those who need it most. Please, join me in taking action. 🌍🤝🕊

"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy." 

Proverbs 31:8-9

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