An Island Nation Devastated
Three weeks ago, Hurricane Matthew killed more than 500 people in Haiti. This death toll is the official count, but in a nation where many make their living fishing from the belly of a dugout canoe, many more are certain to have perished than will ever be known.
Almost 200,000 have been left without homes, and over a million continue their struggle to survive in the midst of complete catastrophe and total devastation. Cholera, a waterborne disease caused by sewage-polluted water, now threatens the entire population of the affected area, as clean water remains scarce.
Haiti has been heavily deforested for many years, and the storm winds of 130 MPH decimated most structures in the affected area—leaving hundreds of thousands of people without any shelter. No roofs, no trees, no shade of any kind—leaving people to suffer beneath the punishing tropical sun.
An entire season’s harvest is gone, along with the fruit-bearing trees that could have sustained the people. Banana, coconut, mango, guava, even private gardens—all of them are gone.
At LIFE International, we are committed to caring about the most vulnerable, and right now, the people of southwest Haiti are among the most (or are the most) vulnerable people on the planet. They were exceedingly vulnerable the day before the hurricane! Today, they are extraordinarily desperate.
What can be done?
- Pray that the evangelical church in Haiti will lead the way in providing not just physical care but spiritual care for the community. This calamity is a great opportunity for the light of Christ to shine through the compassion of Christ-followers.
- Pray that there would be sustained cooperation among the various relief efforts in the region, that the response would be coordinated, effective, wise, and timely.
- Last, pray that the land will recover quickly. Pray that the Lord would bring bountiful growth and fresh water to a suffering people.
Additionally we can act. Many organizations are raising funds to provide for the people. The three organizations listed below can be trusted to steward donations responsibly, and direct resources conscientiously.
As you finish reading this post, please pause and intercede with our Father on behalf of the beloved people of Haiti.
Haiti Hurricane Relief Organizations
Anne Nelson, LIFE International’s Vice President of International Ministry, went to Haiti at three years old, as the middle daughter of missionary parents who went on to serve the Haitian people for more than four decades.