UPDATE - 10/13/16
IDES is in the process of providing over $100,000 for aid through our partners to victims of Hurricane Matthew in multiple countries, including Haiti and the U.S. This tragic disaster is an opportunity to tangibly show the world how Jesus Christ responds during times of crisis. Want to partner with us during the recovery process? Just text "helpIDES" to the number 76959!
UPDATE - 10/8/2016
Although Hurricane Matthew has dropped in strength, it has indeed hit the Southeastern United States causing flooding and wind damage throughout Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. IDES staff members are currently assessing the needs in these states.
Death tolls are still rising in the Caribbean countries, particularly in Haiti, as more damage reports come through during the clean-up process. IDES is already working with multiple mission partners in Haiti as the long-term recovery process begins there. Please continue to pray for all of the families who have been affected or have lost loved ones, and please consider making a donation towards the recovery efforts--just follow the link at the bottom of this post.
Original Post - 10/3/2016
In lieu of this week's normal Devotional Blog post, we wanted to ask you to join us in prayer.
As you read this, Hurricane Matthew is barreling down on the countries of the Caribbean, namely Haiti, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Jamaica, and the Bahamas. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has listed it as a Category 4 storm, meaning it is producing sustained winds of over 140 miles per hour, with storm surges of 13-18 feet above normal level.
Hurricane Matthew is the strongest storm to hit the area in over 20 years. Most meteorologists are predicting it to be a devastating event for the countries in its path.
IDES regularly partners with several different missions and churches in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Many of us on staff have personal friends serving there as well. Haiti's situation this week in particular is quite disheartening, having just barely recovered from its most recent disaster, the tragic earthquake of 2010 that killed hundreds of thousands of people.
It is difficult to sit and watch a disaster of this magnitude just happen when it feels that there is very little we can do to prevent it. However, one thing we can do together is pray fervently to our Heavenly Father for those in the path of this storm.
The psalmist writes in Psalm 46:1-3,
"God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling."
Let us pray this psalm on behalf of our brothers and sisters in Haiti, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Jamaica, and the Bahamas. Let us pray that those whose lives are in direct danger may be spared. Let us pray that those who are already safe may reach out to their neighbors who are not. Let us pray for the global Body of Christ, that we may all reach out as the Church with arms of love and compassion once the storm passes.
IDES will be responding to this disaster through our partner missions on the ground as soon as possible, upon evaluating the damage caused by the storm in the coming week. If you wish to partner with us in serving the families affected, please designate your gift as "Disaster Response" at the bottom of the donation form at the following link (click button) OR Text "helpIDES" to 76959: