After the storm passes and the news stations stop reporting about the needs of an affected community, it is all-too-easy to forget the plight of those who are still suffering. The recovery process takes much longer than news stations care to report.
Hurricane Matthew was an absolutely devastating disaster for communities throughout Haiti. It will take more than just a few weeks to rebuild and recuperate. Thanks to your partnership with us, IDES is able to continue serving families who have been affected, in Jesus' name.
Once basic necessities like emergency food, clean water, and temporary shelter (see Part 1 of this update) have been provided short-term, it is imperative to continue assisting until communities can stand on their own two feet again. Continuing to provide these necessities allows local mission workers to focus on long-term recovery projects such as (re)building permanent homes, repairing school and church structures, and resupplying these community-centers.
"Hurricane Matthew hurt a lot of families," our partner said. "We were able to provide food for 220 familes in Cayes, in the village of Gouneau and Madeleine. We also provided food for 57 families in Jacmel. Then, we started construction on a new home for a family with 7 children. We also rebuilt a wall of a school and church in Madeleine. And, we purchased construction materials for 25 families to help in rebuilding their homes."
Although the "destruction-phase" of the primary disaster has passed, a secondary threat looms in these communities due to contaminated water and a severe lack of necessary healthcare. Many victims of the storm will need ongoing medical attention and care. Thanks to you, IDES provided one partner with the resources necessary to host a medical clinic, administering treatments and medications that so many needed.
Step-by-step, our local partners on the ground assist the families affected towards reaching a state of self-sustenance. This allows our local partners to foster long-term relationships with those that are served, thus opening the door to share the hope of Jesus Christ.
"Our goal is to go back and provide more food to the victims and supply these families with more construction materials to complete their homes," our partner said. "Then, our next goal is to hand out 750 Bibles around the villages we serve in. We plan to minister to these families and encourage them by giving them Hope through Jesus. We will be back in Haiti at the end of December and hope to be able to provide for their ongoing needs."
As rebuilding continues, some schools in the affected villages have reopened and begun classes again. We received the following note from one of the teachers in a school that IDES is currently assisting in feeding their students after the storm.
"Most of the time it is quite difficult for kids in Haiti to do well in school because they cannot concentrate when in class. This is caused by the fact that the kids are hungry, and dont have any expectation that they are going to get a meal after class. In fact, being someone who has experenced this situation in my own younger years, I really appreciate the work that is being done in our community. Providing even one meal for the kids is really crucial in helping them succeed in their classes. In our community, even before Hurricane Matthew, the situation was difficult for parents to provide for their children. And right now the hurricane has destroyed all the resources of the people, so a filling meal for the kids is much appreciated. Even if the kids do not have food to eat at home, the fact that they know they are going to be fed at the school is really good. The meal helps them stay concentrated in class. As a result, they perform better in classes. We really appreciate your generosity towards the kids. It is really amazing to see what a great difference that one daily meal can do in a kid's life!"
Praise God! It is thanks to your generosity that these services are possible. Sincerely, thank you for partnering with us.
The physical help that you provide in partnership with IDES is not only meeting basic needs, but is also opening the door to share the spiritual hope we have in Jesus Christ. We pray that together, we can continue to bless the lives of all who were affected by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti as the recovery process moves forward.