Someone asked me what it was like where the hurricane hit. The only word that seemed to come to mind did not have to do with the physical state or the state of mind that the victims were in, but my own inner self and feelings which rose up. They are overwhelmed and helpless.
As I process these words, overwhelmed seems to be birthed from the magnitude of damage and destruction left in wake of hurricane Mathew in southwest Haiti. Helpless comes from seeing the hopelessness and desperation in the eyes of these victims, which causes me to ask what can I do? I alone realize I can do nothing, but knowing I belong to a greater body, (the bride of Christ who is making Herself known to the world and Heaven is declaring her Glory) gives me hope for the hopeless. Realizing God gifted each of us to do different task for a greater purpose and that is so that His creation can Glorify Him.
Tuesday morning we loaded the truck with rice, beans, cooking oil, tarps, and water. It was a six hour drive to get to les cayes. We arrived after dark. We woke up before daylight and headed out as the night dawned to daylight, there was destruction everywhere. Trees torn down and stripped of limbs everywhere. The good thing was that most homes were in tact because of the concrete structures were strong enough to hold them together. After traveling for a couple of hours we arrive at Kapantye and then to Anike where there is mountainous farmlands, we began to see total homes torn off their foundation. Fruit trees and gardens destroyed. This is a place where people's survival is based on what the land produces and their gardens are destroyed with the grain still clinging to the pods, and coconut, banana, avocado, papaya, and mango trees strewn everywhere with premature fruit hanging from the lifeless branches. As we began distributing food in the area you could see the desperation on the faces, in the eyes and voices of each one. Most did not even have a tarp or shelter to shade them from the sun in a land now barren of shade and life giving fruits and vegetables. One woman took her shirt off to make a bag to put rice in. As we continued the journey of distribution, they were thankful but it seemed a little rice, beans, oil, and a tarp was like putting one of those bandages that do not stick. One man shared with us that it would take him over a year to rebuild and have a shelter for his family. There are thousands of people without power and no hope of even someone planning to help in the foreseeable future.
What can we do. I have been talking with pastor CG. Most of these houses have foundations that can be built on. For 150$ we could buy cement to rebuild the walls. For 150$ we can buy metal for the roof to finish two 15x15 rooms. And 100$ will purchase wood, nails, sand, etc to complete the project. We are expecting the homeowners to do the labor and work with others in the community as volunteers. So for 400$US. People can have a shelter. I believe that together we can begin to rebuild 100 of these homes over the next few months. So what can you do? Can you buy the cement? Can you buy a roof, some nails, or possibly a house for 400$? Or it may not be possible for you to do any of the above but you could share this need with some of your friends and pray for us.
In addition to the above, Mary and I are planning to move to Haiti for some time to see this through along with pastor CG. We will have living expenses and need a vehicle. Please be in prayer with us about these needs, and help would be appreciated.
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With much love
Emory and Mary