Many of you have expressed concern for Haiti in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. Thank you for your interest in, and thoughts and prayers for, the well-being of those we serve. We want to send out an update, as well as ask for continued prayers, as many in Haiti are suffering greatly from the hurricane’s effects.
We want to praise God for sparing our area, Arcahaie, just north of Port-au-Prince; it was not hit as hard as many other areas. There were no deaths or serious injuries in our community. However, we are deeply concerned for the people whom Hurricane Matthew hit most directly. Please see the maps below.
The BBC is reporting that 30,000 homes in Sud (South) Province were destroyed and that death tolls are already above 400. More than 80% of the buildings in Jeremie, a southern coastal town, have been destroyed. Perhaps one of the greatest problems is that two bridges are out, making many of the hardest hit areas unreachable.
As an organization, we are considering how we can most effectively help. We have sent a driver and our pickup truck to Port-Au-Prince to help transfer supplies to the region. At this time, we do not want to send teams and cause an undue burden on a system that cannot even feed those who have survived. Specifically, we are thinking about sending a team of medical personnel (from Haiti internally) and helping with food supplies for those who lost their crops and homes during the storm. Andrew will be leaving for Haiti on Tuesday to assess the situation more closely.
We have good relationships with several missionary families in Haiti, and we are investigating the possibility of funneling any relief funds we receive for this effort directly through them, since they already know the people and their needs in their immediate communities. When more information becomes available, we will send out another update.
Please continue to pray for the people of Haiti.