Monday, December 12, 2016

Local Church Brings Hope to Victims of Hurricane

Haiti – When Hurricane Matthew swept across the southwestern tip of Haiti in October, the Category 5 storm devastated the Caribbean nation, taking the lives of more than 1,000 Haitians and causing the worst destruction the country has seen since the earthquake in 2010.

Thousands of homes were destroyed and acres of farmland were decimated, leaving locals without proper shelter and severely reducing food supplies. Damage caused by high winds and widespread flooding also forced the closure of schools, businesses and roads. While some major cities are now on the road to recovery, many remote villages are struggling in the storm’s wake.

The community of Suzon is among those villages that are still in desperate need of support. Roads leading in and out of the community have been destroyed, restricting access to the village and isolating the 600 people that live there. This agricultural community, whose farmers grow yams, potatoes and millet, is also facing food shortages now that the storm has wiped out their crops. Pastor Nixon’s church, in the heart of Suzon, has lost its roof and the church's school next door has been completely destroyed. As a result, teachers have lost their jobs and 125 students now have to walk miles to attend the nearest school.

School in Suzon is destroyed due to Hurricane Matthew

Despite these challenges, the local church in Haiti has not given up. Bright Hope’s CEO, C.H. Dyer, recently visited our partners on the ground and saw first hand their resilience and drive in the face of adversity. One such church is located in the remote village of Fourrien, led by Pastor Chaperon. Although the church-run school has lost its roof, they have not closed their doors, allowing students to continue their education.

Pastor Jean’s church in Labiche is also reaching out to its community, despite losing its roof in the storm. The church is using its well to provide clean drinking water, since access to potable water has been scarce following the hurricane. People are traveling from more than an hour away to get water from the church. Members of the church are also gathering clothing, medical supplies and food to provide for other families in need.

Pastor Jean is still smiling despite the challenges after the hurricane!

Since the local church is often the only source of help and aid in remote communities like these, Bright Hope is responding to the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew by helping to rebuild churches and schools that have been damaged. This way, they can better support their communities and continue to be a beacon of Hope to those struggling in the aftermath.

Read more stories from Bright Hope's Ally Connection newsletter.