Exchange rate plummets.
Salaries stretch further. Yay!
Our monthly payroll increases by $4000US almost overnight. Help!
Dear Friends, Several months ago, I wrote to you about a food and water crisis we were facing. Many of you prayed fervently and gave generously to help us through that time. THANK YOU! God has truly taken care of us...
Our trucks held up. The well at Ti Karenaj (a community we truck water from) has been repaired. God has sent rain! In the last 6 months we have received over five inches of rain.
Although food prices rose to the point where food was becoming a luxury, it was at least available. Through your generous gifts we were able to care for the most vulnerable in our community. Today food prices in Haitian gourdes have dropped considerably. This is a real relief for our staff and community. It creates some significant challenges for Lemuel, however. More on that below.
Through your gifts we were able to assist 61 families through temporary work programs since April. These jobs provided the much-needed income for the families in our community to make it through when food prices were at their highest.
Through your gifts we were able to help over 252 families with their gardens, enabling them to provide for their families from their own land. We were also able to fence in and plant two new portions of land – both of which have provided a harvest. We are determined to redouble our efforts in producing food in our own community.
In addition to all of this, many of you supported our “Fill the Box” campaign and enabled us to put things on the box truck that we would not have been able to purchase ourselves. We are all so excited to receive that truck and put everything to good use! We hope it will arrive here on the Plateau by mid-November. Please pray with us that it will arrive safely with nothing stolen or broken.
Now we again need your help and prayers.
We are gearing up to start a new school/work year in November (delayed from our normal schedule due to COVID), and we are facing some unique challenges. Due to a significant change in the exchange rate between Haitian Gourdes and US Dollars, our monthly payroll increased $4000US in less than a week. If the exchange rate continues to drop as they are projecting, this amount will continue to rise.
How it works:
(If the details do not interest you, you can skip this part.)
As you can see in the screenshot, the Gourde/Dollar exchange rate suddenly plummeted after steadily rising over the past year. What this means is that the Gourde suddenly gained in value, so fewer Gourdes are needed to buy one US Dollar. This is a good thing for the Haitian economy (though many are concerned about how this was brought about and what negative repercussions may be ahead).
However, on the flip side, this means that each US Dollar gives us fewer Haitian Gourdes. So, to pay a salary of 10,000 Gourdes, we used to need to raise $91 US dollars. Today we need $154 US dollars to pay that same salary (based on the exchange rate we actually receive in the nearest city, not necessarily on the national exchange rate). Please understand that this is actually very good for our employees. The steady rise in the exchange rate over the past year caused prices to skyrocket, and their salaries could not meet the rising cost of living. We had been looking at how we could raise salaries. With the drop in the exchange rate, prices have gone down and salaries stretch much further. But this very sudden drop puts a tremendous amount of pressure on us to quickly raise at least $4000 more US dollars each month to cover the same salaries.
In addition to the financial stress on Lemuel right now, Haiti continues to struggle through wave after wave of gang violence, kidnapping, car-jackings, strikes and general instability. This makes getting anything done stressful. Each time I have to send an employee into the city I am concerned for their safety. But many of the supplies we need to function are found only in the cities – some only in the capital.
We desperately need your prayers and your help.
- for strength – mental, physical, and spiritual for our leadership team
- for God’s provision for our financial needs. Such a sharp increase in our budget in just one month is very difficult for us, but it is not beyond God’s power to provide.
- for the safety of all of our staff, particularly those who have to make regular trips to the capital city.
If you are able to give financially at this time, here are some ways you can help:
1. Donate to the Change Every Day Fund (the General Fund). These funds will be used where most needed, including payroll. If you can commit to a monthly gift, this will greatly increase our financial stability.
2. Sponsor a Grade! You can learn more about this here.
Thank you for standing with us, praying with us, and financially supporting our work. We could not do what we do without you.
How to donate:
To donate online please visit our Donate page.
If you do not need a tax-deductible receipt, you can also make a check out to “Lemuel Ministries” and send it to 1849 Lititz Pike, Lancaster, PA 17601. Funds will be deposited directly to our bank account.