Dear Friends,

As we draw close to the end of the year it is fitting that I send my personal thanks to all you who have continued to stand by Starfysh’s work, through your prayers, time and energy, and finances.

What a year! The shutdowns of 2020 significantly impacted our ability to travel back and forth to the island and we had hoped we could chalk that up to an aberration, and that our work would return to normal in 2021. But Covid continued to lurk (actually showing up in Haiti much later than in the rest of the world). And about the time air travel returned to normal, conditions on the ground in Haiti deteriorated, with the assassination of its President and subsequent political unrest, government instability, and the rise of gangs who steal and kidnap for ransom. This all on Haiti’s mainland.

We are thankful that La Gonave, insulated by the sea, remains peaceful, left alone by the evil just hours away. Our battle is in the journey. Getting to the island requires we go through Port-au-Prince, with the risk of robbery and kidnapping that comes with it. [In the Spring, my driver took me to pick up a truckload of tree seedlings in the suburb of Croix-des-Bouquets where (I later learned) a major prison break had just occurred and would be the exact location of the recent abduction and kidnapping of 17 missionaries.] Sadly, between Covid, civil unrest, and the inherent risks of moving from point A to point B, we have not been able to host any visiting teams for nearly two years now.

All this discouraging news would lead many to give up. Indeed, there has been a significant exodus of foreign workers from Haiti this past year, and for good reason. Ours, however, is a story of holy surprise. In 2020, when Covid shut down the world and people’s incomes dropped, donations to our work rose. This past year, when news out of Haiti might have led to “donor fatigue,” Starfysh enjoyed its greatest giving year ever.

During these challenging times, when it might have been reasonable to expect stagnation in giving and project growth, Starfysh inaugurated its new Life Garden Teaching Pavilion, nurtured and distributed millions of garden seeds, distributed tens-of-thousands of fruit tree seedlings, added two schools, brought Haitian coffee to the American marketplace, and provided uninterrupted employment to nearly 70 workers. This past Spring over one hundred farmers on the island made their way to our first 3-day Farmers Conference. In July, (during the week following the President’s assassination), seventy school teachers came together at Life Garden for our largest annual teacher training event ever. And a tiny congregation on the salt flats (home of the poorest people in our world) established a church garden and chicken hatchery, providing food for themselves and their community. In the face of overwhelming obstacles, these (and more!) stories serve as evidence of two things… that our Haitian-driven model will continue to move our work forward even when we can’t be there, and more importantly, that if God wants to bless something, neither gangs nor earthquakes nor Covid will stop Him.

I have seen God’s provision in so many ways: through travel protection (lots of stories), through project successes, and through the continued support by those who believe in what we do. For all these things I am thankful to Him, and to you.

I hope you will consider Starfysh in your upcoming giving plans. Thanks for being a part of this remarkable story. Together, you and I are making a significant difference in the lives of “the least of these.”

May God bless you richly,

Steve Edmondson