On October 4, 2016, Hurricane Matthew delivered a devastating blow to Haiti. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian affairs (OCHA), the storm took the lives of 1,000 people and displaced 175,500 residents. HOPE Worldwide immediately released $5,000 aimed at providing life-saving aid for members of our partner churches, their families and their communities. Charles Ham, H ww International Disaster Response Coordinator, and Wade Cook, H ww Vice President of U.S. Programs, were soon on the ground assessing the situation and formulating an effective and sustainable recovery plan. Part of that was an appeal for funds, and we were humbled by the response. Over the Christmas holidays, HOPE ww friends and partners rallied support to raise just over $210,000. Our sincere appreciation cannot be adequately expressed in words.
HOPE ww will be repairing 44 houses at an average cost of $2,500 each. The work will focus on making homes safer and stronger to withstand future disasters.
Left to right: Volvick and Fluerette Timot, a senior ministry couple, in front of their home before and after the repair work thanks to Oasis and HOPE worldwide .
Sadly, some partner church members remain in very precarious situations within their communities. Simply repairing their homes can make them visible targets for violent crime. In those situations, HOPE ww plans to relocate them out of these conditions and into newly created communities where they can have safe shelter, clean water, viable sanitation and the emotional support to reclaim their futures.
To that end, HOPE worldwide and Oasis, an ICOC partner, are proposing the purchase of land to build a new Village of Hope. It will be similar to the thriving Village of HOPE ww in Croix de Bouquets, Haiti. It was built following the 2010 earthquake, and we are happy to report that the village and its residents came through the storm safe and sound.
What can I do?
Please pray for Haiti and consider giving financially to this ongoing response effort. We are exploring the possibility of putting together a Haiti Spring Volunteer Corps, so please be on the look out for further information. Thank you for caring. For more information or to donate, go to hopeww.org/donate or contact Wade Cook at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Rin Receiving the Empathy Amplified AwardClick here to watch .
Jenny Harkabus spent Christmas serving in the Philippines. She wrote this, and also made a short video:
I did not imagine that I would be spending Christmas in the Philippines for my first HOPE Youth Corps experience. This opportunity has deeply changed my perspective on the importance of service in my daily walk.
We are created in God's image, therefore we are meant to help and serve others. I know this to be true because I have never felt so used by God and fulfilled, than the times spent serving and pouring out my love in the Philippines.
James 1:27 says, " Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." Some translations refer to this as true religion. The bible also stresses the importance of giving to the poor (1 John 3:17, Matt 9:21, Proverbs 14:31). God considers caring for the poor and orphans as true religion, yet this can be an area of faith that is overlooked.
I was privileged to spend time with girls who have experienced trauma and abuse at the HOPE worldwide center in Laguna. Many of these girls have been separated from their families, becoming orphans, as a result of the abuse they have experienced. I also received the opportunity to play with children within the community as we rebuilt their homes and provided them with medical care. I witnessed the children’s precious value for human relationships, as they clung to me emotionally and physically. They showed me instant love and respect, which I find to be rare in today’s society. Our focus should be about investing in others just as the children in the Philippines invested in me.