Six Months after Hurricane Matthew – Recovery and Renewal

April 21, 2017

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”

— Ephesians 2:8

It has been six months since Hurricane Matthew destroyed many lives here in Haiti. The people are still trying to pick up the pieces. While aid trickles in, it is not nearly enough to rescue the hundreds of thousands of Haitians who lost everything during the hurricane.

Destruction from Hurricane Matthew

 

Many Haitians are still cut off from aid because of washed out roads and bridges. Throughout all of southern Haiti, people are starting to feel the long-term effects of the hurricane. There is little food, homes lie in rubble, crops are destroyed, and there is little to no clean water.

Homes lost in Hurricane Matthew

 

People are living in the most inhumane condition in caves up in the mountains near Jérémie, with dozens of newborn babies coming into that dark, dismal world.

Family living in caves after Hurricane Matthew

 

Churches were destroyed.

Churches were destroyed in Hurricane Matthew

 

Schools collapsed because of the high winds, or some became shelters for so many Haitians who had nowhere else to go. Many of the displaced are still living in the schools, and the children have not been able to attend classes for six months.

Schools collapsed during the hurricane

 

Hurricane Matthew caused so much destruction in rural communities across Haiti’s southern peninsula where it’s hard to reach those in need. This area is known as a growing region where most of the population depends on farming for their livelihood. Rivers burst their banks, and heavy rain swamped much of the growing fields, destroying an estimated 80 percent of the harvest. Haitian and international agricultural officials believe it could be more than a decade for this area to economically recover from the hurricane.

Hurricane Matthew left a path of destruction across Haiti

 

But recover they must. Haiti has had more than its share of natural disasters that have wreaked havoc across this tiny island nation. Just when you think that they are moving forward, and maybe even gaining ground by returning to the rhythm of life, there is another calamity for these hard-working people to face. We do what we can to bring hope and the love of God to these Haitians. Whether it is a Mobile Medical Clinic, food distribution or delivering Bibles, we reach out to all those who have suffered.

Seeking medical help after Hurricane Matthew

 

As Haitians start to move on from this most recent disaster, there is a lot of concern about the “country’s breadbasket” area where crops and fruit plantations were wiped out. Along with the loss of livestock, this will bring wide-spread famine to not only the hardest hit areas but also across much of the nation. We know we will need to bring food to these people for quite some time. Shown below is Joel Trimble distributing the food and supplies we sent to the people of Fond Rouge who are living in caves.

Bringing in food and supplies after Hurricane Matthew

 

There is so much to do to help those who have lost everything. Bringing building materials to remote villages like Peyi Pouri, as well as food, has been essential for many of these people to survive.

Rebuilding villages like Peyi Pouri

 

There are so many areas that need our help. The country’s infrastructure is severely damaged (though it was never that good to start with). In some regions, 90 percent of the homes were destroyed. Farming, fishing and small-scale businesses were devastated, depriving people of livelihoods and income. But we need to focus on lifesaving needs immediately, such as clean water, food, and shelter.

Well built homes also took a hard hit from Hurricane Matthew

 

We are helping the people from the village of Fond Rouge, where over 50 families lost their homes and everything they owned. These families have been living in a cave since the disaster struck in October 2016, and we want to build 50 homes for them as soon as possible. These are just some of the families we want to help, shown standing outside the cave. There are so many children; it just breaks our hearts.

People living in cavers after the hurricane

 

We have visited the people of Fond Rouge several times this year, bringing food, clothing, medical supplies, and Bibles. They are singing their praises to Jesus every day, inside the cave.

Singing their praises to Jesus every day

 

The conditions inside the cave are the worst living conditions we have ever seen. It is damp and moldy with spiders and snakes, bat feces and urine, and severely overcrowded. There have now been a dozen babies born in the cave over the last six months. Bobby and I have never seen anything like this in all our 26 years of living in Haiti.

Worst living conditions we have ever seen.

 

Love A Child and our partners are doing everything we can to help all these displaced people get into a home. We are now raising the money to build a blockhouse for each family that is now living in the cave. We are partnering with Joel Trimble, whose Haitian workers first discovered the cave dwellers. We pledged to help Joel build 50 houses for these 50 families. The houses will cost $4,200 each, including labor, materials, and transportation. So far, we have raised funds for 24 houses. We now have 26 more houses to go. We reach out to all of you to find it in your hearts to give whatever you can to help these families.

New block homes for the cave dwellers

 

Please take a moment to view our short video of the people living in the cave. This scene will break your heart as it did mine. You will never forget your gift of love. If you feel that God is touching your heart to sponsor a house for a family or share the cost with others, please contact us as soon as possible. God will bless you back, 100-fold according to Psalms 41:1-3. This situation is the most distressing thing I have ever seen; it just “rips my heart out.”

You may give securely online or call our office at 239-210-6107 and let a staff member know that you want to help.

Donate Now - Make A Difference in HaitiGod bless you all,

Sherry

Posted In Sherry's Journal