Hurricane Matthew was a category 4-5 storm and, on October 4, became the worst hurricane to strike Haiti since 1964. The death toll has risen to 1,600 and 1.4 million people were left needing assistance. We have the people, the network on the ground, and the capability of bringing the compassion of Christ to a hurting people. We have made a good start but need to generate a second wave of response.
- The main-stream media have moved on, but the Hurricane Matthew crisis in Haiti continues.
- The right kind of aid delivered now in a strategic way can greatly reduce this becoming an even more massive humanitarian crises.
- We have responded so far in several hard-hit areas and where we have people: Wesleyan or World Hope International churches and schools. These include: the areas around Torbeck, Cote de Fer, Pitite Rivierre de Nippe, and Grande Vide, La Gonave. Thank you for supporting the first wave of relief with 1,000 water filters, 2,500 hygiene kits, and 400 temporary canvas shelters. Your quick response in the Wesleyan Emergency Relief Fund (WERF) and also actions by other agencies helped limit the feared explosion of cholera so far. Praise God! We were grateful for partnership with World Hope in this. Thank you also for your prayers!
- The second response has begun. This includes food for severely-affected families and supporting the restart of agriculture, including garden tools, seed, and goats.
- In phase 3 recovery, simultaneously, we will introduce Community Health Evangelism (CHE) for longer-term health benefits in the south. Also we will partner in reconstructing/re-roofing churches, schools, and parsonages. (CHE is a very effective existing program in Haiti which has not yet been introduced to the Southern Region hardest hit by Mathew.)
One of the very significant remaining needs is literally for hundreds of goats. Goats are interest-bearing investments for peasant farmers as well as a primary protein source for markets. The loss of thousands of goats will have long-term effects on the economic survivability and health of many of the families in our areas. A missionary veterinarian has offered to help supply goats in quantity which have received inspection and veterinary care for $75, delivered. If we could supply a thousand it wouldn’t be too many. We need to deliver the goats for breeding stock by the spring when the rains begin. But our supplier needs to know how many. What should be the size of our faith? For $75, each goat makes a huge difference for a family.
Other needs: simple farming implements and supplies like machetes, hoes, and seed stock to replace gardens. These are also needed before the rains begin.
We should invest $80,000-$100,000 to assist in rebuilding and repairing several buildings that were totally destroyed, lost roofs, or were badly damaged. These are churches, parsonages, and schools. If we can soon schedule some repair teams to bring additional resources, more of the WERF funds could be channeled for the other purposes. If you want to schedule a team (greatly needed!) contact Dustin and Nancy Stephens at Dustin.Stephens@gponline.org.
Summary of current needs:
- More water filters, at $35 each
- Goats, at $75 each, and needing hundreds
- Food–many families still lack short-term food security, and their gardens are destroyed
- Simple farm implements and supplies: hoes, machetes, and seed
- Re-roofing damaged churches and other church properties (total, $80-100K)
Whether or not you were able to help in the first response, it’s now time to step into the gap and give us the strength to finish the job that God has placed us there to do in this case. By being present and making a big difference after such a disaster, we are not only showing God’s compassion as we are moved by his Spirit, but the church and the gospel of Jesus Christ are viewed more favorably in these communities, advancing the kingdom of God. Thank you for your help!