Tragedy has struck Haiti again! The 7.2 earthquake on Saturday was devastating for our area of Haiti on the southern coast! Our base on Ile a Vache was well built and looks like it only has some cracks, but many Haitian houses were destroyed.
The other two villages we were currently working in to help build churches were devastated. They were near the epicenter of the earthquake! People are sleeping on the ground outside. In Janou in the mountains, word has come that most if not all the houses have collapsed. It is the same in Baiu de Mesle (Bedzimel), the coastal village we sail out of to go to Ile a Vache.
In both of the villages, we are in the process of helping them build churches. The church in Bedzimel had the walls up and they are still standing. Our plan, if we can find the materials which will be expensive and in short supply, is to initially get a roof on it to provide shelter and a place to cook community meals. Over time, we need to raise funds to rebuild homes for people.
It is the same situation in Janou but will be harder to do considering it is a five hour hike up to the village. We have a foundation and blocks have been made in the mountains and we can start the church walls. Since Bill left Haiti in June, the cost of a bag of concrete had already gone from $7 to $10. It will go up now just due to demand. We are concerned that supplies may not only be expensive but also be difficult to get as they will be in huge demand.
Fortunately, the Les Cayes airport is useable. Aid from the large organizations coming in needs to go over the roads from Port au Prince but currently they are controlled by the gangs and we heard that some folks trying to drive to Les Cayes to help have already been kidnapped. That is why we have been flying from Port au Prince to Les Cayes.
Prayer is needed for so many things. Pray for protection for the people of Haiti who have lost their shelter and a tropical storm arrived there today!! Pray that the gangs either allow the aid to flow or are stopped from holding the roads.
We are trying to get Bill back into the country as soon as possible to assess the situation and expedite construction of the church buildings. Hopefully that will happen this week, but a lot of things have to come together. Please pray that God opens those doors so Bill gets back to Haiti soon to help those folks that have no one else to help them.
If you can give to help with the reconstruction of these poor villages, we would be grateful. It’s going to be an extended effort over time. When Bill gets on the ground, we will have more specific information to share.
Thank you for your prayers and help and thank you, Lord, for opportunities to serve your children and bring them your light!
(The following pictures are from Les Cayes, the major city across the bay from our base, that was also devastated.)