The hurricane hit our beloved Haiti Tuesday, October 4. We prayed and held our breath as the ocean swelled and came up over the sea wall at Camp Bossier until the waves had reached the back side of our all-purpose building, kitchen, and two girls cabins. We sent out an SOS to pray!! God answered, and eight hours later the waters had subsided with very little damage – PRAISE GOD!
The days following were hectic, with over 2000 evacuated folks to shelters (schools). Hosanna Baptist Church ladies so graciously prepared 2450 meals for these devastated families two days later as an encouragement to them. Over 320 houses were damaged and flooded, and 40+ little shanties were completely lost. Much livestock and many gardens and vital banana farms were totally wiped out. Hurricane flooding is the immediate problem, and dangerous mudslides are the secondary problem. Roads have washed out, and bridges have collapsed. We praised God that the loss of life in Jacmel was minimal.
Losing their crops is the biggest tragedy for Haitians, because there will be extensive hunger in the weeks and months to come. Remember, every aspect is essential to life in Haiti. Nothing is surplus. The aftermath of the hurricane will be turned into a slow-rolling menace that will have long lasting affects.
HOWEVER, the most horrific devastation occurred on the southwestern part of the peninsula. The city of Jeremie on the north side was flattened. Much smaller villages that are below sea level were totally wiped out, with complete loss of life. Cayes on the south side was devastated also. Hundreds and hundreds of lives have been lost in the Southwest. They are desperate and need our help! Operation Renewed Hope has joined with Mission for Haiti to provide as much aid to these victims as possible. We want to provide food, water, toiletries, clothing, and tarps to cover their little shanties until another roof is made possible. Please help us to help them by donating either by check or online here. Remember that 100% of what you give goes into the work. There are no salaries. All of our help is voluntary. Thank you!
Our volunteer teams need your prayers and support. There are two construction jobs plus a medical team who will minister in a couple of rural clinics. The first project is a new roof on one of the kindergarten buildings that has been leaking for two years. There are times during the rainy season when the children have to be moved to another location and teachers have to deal with rain damage in the classroom. The second project is the lagoon at Camp Bossier. This is the biggest eyesore at the camp, not to mention a hazard to campers because water comes down from the mountain and collects in the canal and breeds mosquitoes. The medical team will be comprised of nurses and an ER doctor who will minister medically in poverty areas. This team will be a special blessing since the main hospital in Jacmel has been closed for over two years for repairs following the earthquake. Getting medical attention is presently difficult because of excessively long lines and wait times. Taking a clinic to residents of a rural area who have difficulty traveling great distances and waiting all day to be seen will be a big benefit to them. This team will also have opportunities to give out the Gospel. Please keep them in prayer.
Our deepest thanks to God for each of you,
Tom and Sarah Bennett