Dear Friends and Prayer Partners…
Please find below an update regarding the tropical storm that I reported in my last email. Please continue to keep the people of Haiti in your thoughts and prayers.
“After the rain comes the good weather.” After the heavy rains that have swept the whole country, calm returned on afternoon of Wednesday, October 12th. The five days of rain has caused much turmoil in the Les Cayes area of Haiti. The Southern Department was the most affected. The damage amounted to millions of dollars and the loss of four lives was recorded.
ESMI had multiple emergency calls come in from our churches all over the area.
- Les Anglais Church, Pastor Lajoie: The Christians had taken refuge in the mountains. The waters flooded the city and it was not possible to stay safe in the home. Many animals were lost, plantations flooded, and there was chaos everywhere. Also according to Pastor Lajoie after the disaster, many of the homes and streets were filled with mud. The lack of tools (pick and shovels) makes it difficult, or impossible in some cases, to do any clean up. Unfortunately, the bike Pasteur Lajoie owned to get around was washed away. He finally found it, but it no longer has any value. It is completely destroyed by rocks carried by the water current.
- Cherette, Pastor Nerva: Pastor Nerva called with tears in his eyes. The panic was at its highest point. The riverbed has degraded further and continuing to move toward the church. Prayer is essential because of the imminent danger of losing the church. The river has already prevailed in less than two years over 25 meters of land on which houses the church and other buildings in the village. The smaller children were placed in safe places and the older people who were able to swim remain on alert for any possible overflows. Damage after the disaster is enormous: a pregnant cow, three pigs, other animals and clothes were washed away. There is always the risk of infectious diseases in the upcoming days, which is a threat to the children. The presence of a medical team is necessary for children and the region.
- Chantal, Pastor Sherie: Water was so high it got into the church. The sound system was damaged. The pastor lost his plantain plantation. It is so sad. The pews are really bad, they were under water for at least three consecutive days.
- Savannes, Pastor Mongerard: The waters have invaded the field around the property and entered several houses. The church has become a place of refuge. Over 70 families are seeking refuge. After the passage of the tropical depression, the damage of the community was much: loss of mud houses and property, loss of animals and other possessions. The church did not receive damage due to the flooding directly, but it has indirectly. Among the people who took refuge in the church, there were people with bad intentions. We have had several things stolen including a mixer and an electric generator. More than a dozen chairs were also taken away. Pastor Mongerard’s house is flooded. He lost all his books. There was water at the back of his house. Until this morning there was more water in his house from four water springs gushing up from the floor.
- Darivager, Pasteur Mongerard: The waters have not penetrated into the houses, but the animals at this site have died.
- Pelerin, Pasteur Louisy: There has been no access to the church due to the flooding. The water has invaded the whole field around the church. Fortunately the church is equipped with a foundation high enough, this is what prevents the water from getting inside the building. The people of the region have sought refuge inside the church. They made their home until morning. A plantation of maize, peas and other crps was completely destroyed by the flood. Pelerin has approximately 1 square of land.
- Picot, Pasteur Amazan: There is no current access to Picot. The road is cut. Pasteur Amazan almost lost his life and his family. He was returning from a church service when the waters of the river flooded the streets. He rushed to take refuge in a safe house not too far. He was released unharmed.
- Fonfrede, Pastor Raphael: The church is flooded. The pews are wet and shaky.
- Carpentier, Pastor Joseph: A lot of damage, we do not have all of the details.
- Bigarouse, Pastor Elysee: A lot of damage, we do not have all of the details.
- Casa Major, Pastor Renaud: A lot of damage. Praise God that the water has not penetrated into the church. They lost a horse, two goats and a several poultry.
- LaHatte, Pastor Pierre: The Pastor lost his bike. His life was miraculously spared. Part of the church was flooded. The children’s homes had no damage.
- Cavaillon, Pastor Leon: The children are on an alert status. Water has entered the rooms. Mattresses, bedding and food has been damaged. We now need to put everything back into a usable status.
- Cambry, John Franklin Director of the orphanage: The house of the girls is completely flooded. This house was built by our partner, Spanish River Church. Unfortunately the roof is cracked from the earthquake of January 12, 2010. The children were so scared. They were in a panic. Their books and mattresses were damaged in the flooding. We estimate that it will cost $4,500 to fix the roof and remedy this situation.
From Pastor Louis St. Germain, Haiti Field Director: “During difficult times, we realized the depth of the power of the bond of love that unites us all. Each of us was watching over the welfare of the other. We could not sleep without knowing how is someone who is in a vulnerable place. We cannot forget to glorify God for the blessings of the cell phone. It is this tool that keeps us connected to each other during the disaster.”
General Notes: After the floods, we expect a major contamination at a different level. Most people in the mountains await the arrival of the rain to clean their homes. They take advantage during this period for discharge into floodwater waste of all kinds. That’s why last August we had 17 cases of cholera after the passage of a hurricane the hit the Cherette area hard. And also, given that the waters are contaminated, there could be additional epidemics of typhoid and other bacterial diseases. We will need some water filters for the people in these regions. A medical team is also needed to provide real help to the people in these areas.
Many of you have asked how you can help. First and foremost is to keep Haiti in your thoughts and prayers. With the infrastructure there continuing to be inadequate, the needs of the people remain very high. If you would like to assist in a more tangible way then financial donations are the most effective. It is still very difficult and expensive to get physical donations into Haiti. Financial donations can be wired directly from our account here in the United States to our account in Haiti and put directly to work to those areas of most need. All donations are 100% tax deductible and 100% of the funds go to work in Haiti. If you wish to make a donation please go to our website at http://www.esmihome.org/donate/sponsor-a-project/disaster-relief/. We would also love to host medical teams in the most affected areas.
Thank you for you continued support of ESMI…
Remember… In all that you do: Walk with God and Follow your Heart!!!
God bless you and have an awesome day!!!
Esse Quam Videri
David B. Short, PMP, SCPM
Projects and Development Director