This week’s news overflows with images of damage wrought by Hurricane Matthew – both across the Caribbean and in the southeastern U.S. No doubt, the cameras will soon move on to other crises. But the work of short-term relief and long-term recovery is just starting.
Many CAFO member organizations have been serving in Haiti for years or decades. They’ve provided glimpses from the past few days below, revealing the wide variety of challenges faced at this time. These aren’t polished fundraising pitches…just real-time updates as leaders assess damage, marshal relief, and lay plans for longer term rebuilding efforts. But the needs requiring both funds and prayer are all too real.
I’d also call attention to a thoughtful blog post from another CAFO member that is not raising funds for Hurricane relief. Why not? Because – although they do serve in Haiti – their specialty isn’t relief programs. So they’ve made the decision to spotlight other orgs that are especially good at relief and/or have pressing immediate needs. This will help them keep a laser focus on their unique role and strengths — including long term economic development. Read more on that HERE from Peter Greer…as well as the real-time updates from Haiti below:
World Team: Many are safe, but none are unscathed. A reported 75 church buildings are damaged in our area. Still, thousands found shelter in church properties during the storm. The biggest practical need is new roofs for many buildings, including ours. Pray for roads to reopen and communication lines to be re-established. May Christ be known among this loss.
Loving Shepherd Ministries, Les Caynes: Of our 160 Haitian employees, there were no injuries or losses of life, praise God. Our 40 acre Ag Park suffered immense damage. Because possessions are few in this culture, their loss is great. They will bounce back. Food, water, and fuel are the biggest needs right now.
Serving Orphans Worldwide: We only suffered minor damages; children and directors are safe.
Rice Bowls: All staff, children, and missionaries are safe. The trail of destruction Matthew left is devastating, particularly in Port-Salut. Homes, crops, and livestock have been ruined and lost. The staff of Restavek Freedom (our partner home) are helping in every way possible. Pray as they manage the aftermath and begin the rebuilding process. The hardest thing is the lack of technology and communication. Keep praying.
Kinship United, DR: The rains were heavy and the winds were destructive. Our in-country leader opened up the Kinship Home for the night and people flocked from their shacks and unsteady homes. The worst of the storm passed at about 3 am and in the morning, with great relief, people began worshiping right then and there. We could not have guessed that so much outreach and opportunity to share the gospel could come from hurricane Matthew.
Lifeline Children’s Services: Continued risk of disease is large concern. Pray for a lot of our team who will be involved in recovery work.
Lifesong for Orphans: Everyone is safe though it is still raining. Pray for communities and villages that are more low income. Our site can be easily repaired, but pray for the rest of Haiti. Lifesong is out in the community of Bercy to help with immediate needs. Pray Christ is proclaimed as we come alongside the Haitian people.
World Orphans: We have 12 church partners in Haiti; all pastors and in-country staff are well. Most of our projects are not in the SW part of the Island, and Port-au-Prince didn’t sustain the brunt of the storm. There are families at our churches who are worried about flooding in their homes, and are on hillsides at risk of mudslides. Roadblocks make helping these families more difficult than suspected.
In His Hands Orphan Outreach: All 22 orphans and staff are well. Roof leaks were minimal, but many people in the community did not fair well. Our Haitian pastor, Benito Joseph, is helping distribute food.
Hope International: We are working in the SW part of Haiti. The aftermath is seeming to be more dangerous than the event of the storm. I know events like this usually get replaced on the weekly news cycle, but it will take months for people to rebuild their lives. Pray for the bridge east of Miragoane that collapsed, cutting off the only main road to all of Western Haiti. Connecting with group leaders and church members has proved difficult due to communication.
Vision Trust: In the Dominican Republic, pray for the families who have been living in the low areas ‘squatting.’ Their homes have flooded and we don’t have immediate response there yet. Our 14 programs and kids are doing well at this point. We should know more over the weekend. In Haiti, pray for challenges among the families of the kids we help and their neighbors. They are all farmers, and their livestock and crops are ruined. Water-borne disease and de-hydration are primary concerns. Four program locations, 45 staff, and over 400 children.
Orphanos: Cholera is the biggest threat and worry right now; pray for that.
GO Project: Our church partners are caring for the children in our reach. However, there is a real short-food crisis this week. Please pray and support orgs in the SW corner of Haiti. Needs are immense. God is faithful.
Katelyn’s Fund: Our structures retained no damage, which is a huge answer to prayer. The damage in the south is already affecting markets and food. This is our biggest worry right now. Pray for traffic, unemployment, and safety.
All God’s Children International: Everyone was safe. Our roof endured damage and food supplies were ruined due to water damage; kids are all safe.
Back2Back: Back2Back facilities, homes, and families, are okay. We are working to determine the damage for others. Pray that we can discern well where to allocate our time and resources.
Hands and Feet Project. Our kids, staff and campuses were spared during the storm. We are so grateful. Our neighbors sustained some damages to their homes, roads and schools. We are helping to rebuild and serve our neighbors well. The region out west has been devastated. We have sent trucks of supplies and our team of workers to go help serve and rebuild as far west as they can get. I believe at this point, it is Port Salut. Further west of that is reliant on air and water transportation and aid due to road damage and impassable terrain. So for your prayers, yes, we would love them and need them as individuals and a country. Please pray for aid workers – for perseverance, discernment and strength. Please pray for the local communities and people devastated by the storm – for comfort, relief, needed supplies: food, clean water and medical care.