Responding to the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew, HOPE worldwide has rushed to distribute lifesaving supplies of food, water and blankets to remote regions of Haiti. Our relief team managed to arrive in Les Cayes on October 9th with supplies to distribute. A more detailed assessment on the ground will supply important information on how we can best meet the immediate and long-term needs. A second relief team led by Wade Cook and Charles Ham arrived October 10th, bringing more supplies and further assessment resources to inform and enable HOPE worldwide as we assist the Haitian people.
Please support our effort by donating to the HOPE worldwide Disaster Response Fund by clicking on the red badge below.
Hurricane Matthew battered vulnerable communities throughout southwestern Haiti with heavy rain and wind of up to 185 mph (296 km/hr). The casualties are reported to be 877 deaths, and tens of thousands became homeless (Reuters). However, the government of Haiti has only confirmed 336 deaths so far (Civil Protection Service).
This disaster has affected an estimated 1.3 million people (UNOCHA). The situation has created life-threatening circumstances with shortages of food, water, and shelter, and an estimated 750,000 people requiring assistance. Emergency shelters are also needed with more than 25,000 houses damaged or destroyed (UNDOP).
We are honored by the outpouring of support from individuals and ministries alike. When disasters strike, the HOPEww and Benevolence Service Team of the ICOC leaps into action to evaluate the needs and coordinate a global response. The Disaster Response Subcommittee immediately activates a response protocol to first assess the health and wellbeing of any local HOPEww volunteers or congregations. Then the committee quickly gathers information to determine an appropriate appeal for support from local, regional, or international churches, and other key strategic partners.
Within this process, HOPE worldwide’s country team in Haiti reported extensive damage in the southwestern cities of Les Cayes, St Jean, Jeremie, and many others. Bridges were destroyed, causing a logistics nightmare and an inability to reach and assess certain affected areas. An aerial assessment reported large devastation in Jeremie city. Telephones and electricity are not functioning, and most people are outside of their homes.
Picture: aerial mapping of damages in Les Cayes (source: PDC)
has rushed to distribute lifesaving supplies of food, water and blankets to the remote region. Our relief team managed to arrive in Les Cayes on October 9 with supplies to distribute. More detailed assessments on the ground will be supplying important information on how we can best meet the needs of the people. Another relief team led by Wade Cook and Charles Ham arrived today (October 10th), bringing more supplies and further assessment of the actual needs on the ground to enable HOPE
to assist people more effectively.
One serious issue facing Haiti is the prevention of the secondary disaster risks of cholera and other contagious diseases that are due to poor sanitation and waste management. This issue was re-emphasized in the recent United Nations Global Health Cluster meeting in Geneva. HOPE worldwide has been a member of since 1996.
Learning from previous disaster relief and recovery efforts, we know the people of Haiti will need a lot of support from the international community. In the 2010 earthquake, HOPE worldwide not only helped provide relief for Haitians, but also rebuilt houses for families and provided programs for livelihood recovery. We are committed to stand by the people of Haiti and help communities recover and develop readiness for future disasters.
Please visit www.hopeww.org/donatedisaster to take part in our effort for the people of Haiti.
(A report form our partner, Disciples Today)
Houses are damaged, rooftops gave way to the winds and rain, some members of our sister congregation have been displaced and at least one church leader couple has lost their home, along with many others who have lost all their earthly possessions. That’s the news coming out of our sister churches in Haiti, as members assess the devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, the largest hurricane to hit the nation in almost 50 years with a death toll of more than 450 people so far.
On Tuesday, October 4, Hurricane Matthew descended on Haiti's southwestern coast with strong winds and pouring rain, causing devastation and flooding, as well as landslides and mudslides in many of the nation's poorer towns and villages. According to news reports, Matthew made landfall as a massive Category 4 hurricane, slamming into Haiti's southwestern tip with howling, 145 mph winds Tuesday, tearing off roofs in poor and largely rural areas, uprooting trees and leaving rivers bloated and choked with debris.
Port-au-Prince Church of Christ lead evangelist Lesley Cadet has confirmed that there are no reported deaths among the almost 1,000 members of our sister church, and they are grateful. However, it will be a long road ahead, and much help is needed to assist those who have been most affected.
HOPE worldwide Haiti is currently assessing the damages left behind by the hurricane. We have nine partner churches in Haiti, five of them located in the southern region where the hurricane hit the hardest. Over 160 members live in that region, and many houses were damaged or completely destroyed.
The region of Les Cayes, where Hurricane Matthew came onshore, is one of the cities most devastated by the hurricane. Local radio reports say water was shoulder-high in parts of the village. Dozens of homes were severely damaged and others were swept away by raging flood waters.
“None of the over 30+ members are missing, but they are in grave need. Even the leaders of the church in Les Cayes, Volvick and Fleurette Timot, are now homeless,” said Lesley. ( Click here to see a video of the church leader’s home that was destroyed by the hurricane). “Please also pray for Varnel and Merry Joseph, and the 21 members in Les Irois, as we still have not heard from anyone in that village since Monday evening, as the communication systems in the area are completely shut down,” he said. As of this publication, communication with that village has not been restored.
“We want to thank everyone around the world for your prayers for Haiti, and for your love and support in the days to come as we recover from Hurricane Matthew. It could have been much worse. We are thanking the Lord for sparing us. On Wednesday we had a thanksgiving service to praise God for his protection,” said Lesley.Haiti_Map.jpg
Sister churches all over the Caribbean are praying for the people in Haiti this week, and pledging to support them in any way they can. Members from several other islands, including St. Thomas, Jamaica, St. Vincent, Grenada and the Dominican Republic, were all spared the worst as the storm system passed by them on the way towards Haiti. The churches in Jamaica and Bermuda will be taking up a special offering for Haiti on Sunday, while others in the region including St. Thomas, Trinidad, Grenada and Santo Domingo have already pledged to do so later in the month, as more details come out of Haiti about the specific needs.
The lead evangelist for our sister church in Santo Domingo, Angel Martinez, is making an appeal for help for those displaced by the disaster: “We ask that you join us in prayer for those affected and for those still in the path of Hurricane Matthew. We also ask that you donate so that those hurting at this moment can get some relief.”
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.