I am grateful to have returned home from Haiti safely, but my heart aches for our loved ones. I am overwhelmed by the devastation and great need that surrounded me in Haiti, and still more overwhelmed by the generous outpouring of support. I cannot find words to convey my gratitude to each and every person who has opened their hearts to donate to help us rebuilt after the devastation of Hurricane Matthew.
Funds already raised helped get our children into more secure temporary housing and purchase mattresses, clothes and shoes to replace items lost in the hurricane. Food was purchased and we were so fortunate to get a donation of Manna Packs (thank you Haiti One!) to provide protein rich meals to our children. Aquatabs and bleach were also purchased to protect children and staff from cholera.
It is difficult to describe the devastation, which some refer to as a war zone. I have never been in a war zone, so I feel I cannot use that analogy. It was as if the biggest tornado you can imagine swept the southern peninsula, taking nearly everything in its path. Tin roofs did not stand a chance against the high winds of a category 4 hurricane, and nearly every building – home, school, church – lost at least part of its roof if not all of it. Belongings not blown away by that wind were ruined by the heavy rain and/or flooding. Trees still standing are stripped of leaves, most branches broken or gone. Gardens and livestock gone… Not only was this crop wiped out, but seeds that would be used for future crops are also gone. This tragedy will affect all of Haiti for a long time (70% of Haiti’s produce is grown in this area) and hunger and high food prices will continue for some time.
Haiti needs our prayers. All of our housefathers are pastors in area churches, and each of their churches were destroyed -- leveled, not even a bench remaining. One pastor told me “people are living under rocks, like animals. They have lost everything.”
I will go back to Haiti in a few weeks and continue to do what I can to facilitate rebuilding stronger. If you would like to help, I pledge that 100% of your donation (97% if made on line) will go directly to Haiti for Hurricane Matthew relief to help us rebuild Homes 2 and 3, our church/primary school, and help with outreach to those families in our area who have lost everything.
Bondye beni ou, e Bondye beni Ayiti! God bless you, and God bless Haiti!
-- Elisabeth Kennedy