There has been much destruction from Hurricane Matthew in the Caribbean Islands. The island nation of Haiti has been particularly hit hard. Being the poorest nation in our hemisphere, the Haitians are the least able to cope with the destruction. Please be in prayer for all of those impacted by the storm. Below is a description written by one of our Mission Partners (Nortwest Haiti Christian Mission). Note: We have a team of 21 people leaving for Haiti on Thursday, October 20 lead by Tammy Kalstad and Lance Stockton - this team will be working at the main campus of Northwest Haiti Christian Mission.
"The pounding rain and whipping wind continued through the night until 9 am this morning. As the storm was leaving Haiti, we were expecting for the weather to dissipate. Instead, there were moments where the pressure of the wind was stronger than when the core of the storm passed. Last night around 7pm, the staff had a river running beside their homes as the water from the mountains made it’s way down our property. Everyone was grabbing debris and limbs and moving them out of the way so that we could redirect the flow of water to the street. At one time, parts of our campus were knee-deep in water. The staff spent the entire night rearranging the flow of water as it tried to enter through the back of their homes. On our campus, we have tons of trees plants down, electrical pole down, door to the orphanage sleeping quarters blew off, wooden gates all around campus are down as well, the wood frames to many of the tin roofs need repair, and there’s other minor damage throughout the property. Oddly enough, the only 2nd story room we had got flooded. We were unable to keep the orphans there as planned because we couldn’t keep them dry. We will sweep out the water and begin making repairs in case we need to open it up to families who find themselves with nowhere to go right now. We weren’t able to assess the town until closer to 10am when the rain and wind finally came to a stop. The river had swelled by the bridge bringing large amounts of water into fields and destroying plants and trees. There were countless homes with tin or straw missing from their roofs. There were homes missing walls. There were homes and businesses completely destroyed with nothing left to show for it. There were MOUNDS of sand pushed into homes along the bay. They are spending the morning trying to put the sand back on the beach so they can better assess the damage to their homes. When we moved to the Mole, we established a church at the end of a street that was inside the pastor’s home. That area was completely destroyed. The ocean water caught up to that street and flooded it about a third of the way down. The homes that our employees lived in before we moved to the property were concrete and faced the bay of the ocean. Each home had several feet of standing water. We were unable to make it up the mountainside where most of the poorer people live, as the walkways are slick and muddy. We couldn’t get traction on our feet without sliding back down. We are going to try again in a few hours. We heard that there were 4 people who died in Kapafu, which is one of the fishing villages we serve and travel to by boat. We believe that they were not from that community but not knowing about the hurricane - they got caught there as the storm approached. We know that on Sunday we were the ones delivering the news about the hurricane at church and then to the streets because no one knew anything about it. This was the case in many communities throughout Haiti. We have not been able to reach the NWHCM pastors that serve in smaller villages between here and Port-de-Paix. I’m not sure what damage their villages have faced. We know that the Mare Rouge Church lost the roof of their stick/bamboo church right as the storm came through. I’m not sure if anything is standing there now. So please be praying for our surrounding villages as we wait for word to come in. Reports here in town are continuing to trickle in this morning and I can only imagine after the night we had here on campus what others in the mountains have faced. We’ve got a lot of displaced people who lost everything they had. The charcoal is so wet that no one can cook. We tried to buy bread so we could pass it out but we can’t find any to buy. We’ve got a lot of hungry and shivering families who just seem lost this morning. We are buying rice and beans today and planning to distribute them to 200 families at 4 pm as a first step. Please pray for wisdom and discernment. Please pray that God will make Himself known today to those who feel abandoned. Please pray that we can be the hands, feet, and face of Jesus to this community - as we strive to serve, love & care for theses beautiful people in the Mole." -Jody Castillo
If you feel moved to contribute for Disaster Relief, we would encourage you to contribute to either Northwest Haiti Christian Mission or International Disaster Emergency Services (I.D.E.S.) We here at White River have confidence in both of these missions which have their home offices in our area. We are making a contribution to both of them.
NorthWest Haiti Christian Mission: http://nwhcm.org/ I.D.E.S.: https://www.ides.org/