As many of you know….Hurricane Matthew blew through Haiti and caused quite a bit of damage all along the western coast. Overall the southern part of Haiti was affected more than the northern. However – Mole St Nicolas is located on the far northwest tip of the island facing Cuba.
We were slammed with pounding rain, rising sea levels, & forceful winds for over 24 hours straight. We were the last stop in Haiti before it completely left the island.
I have been posting on Facebook while waiting for pictures to upload on this blog. I know that several of you aren’t on Facebook. So I have uploaded my posts to my personal blog for those of you who want more specific details of how things unfolded.
BUT HERE’S THE QUESTION I CONTINUE TO RECEIVE OVER AND OVER AGAIN….
HOW CAN WE HELP YOU?
It seems like an easy enough question but it can be overwhelming trying to decide – who do you help – when you can’t help them all? What need do you address first – when they all seem so urgent? How can we make best use of the resources we are given? How can I be a good steward, a good leader, a good missionary, a good listener… AND use wisdom & discernment throughout this whole process?
So I locked myself alone last night with God & my Bible. So many of you have sent us the sweetest prayers, messages, & encouraging scriptures. Hearing about your children praying for our orphans & for my own kids as well….it’s so humbling. So many of you – I have never even met.
So I took those scriptures into my War Room with God! I knew if I could read them and then just be silent long enough….I would hear Him speak.
After MUCH time praying – God and I developed a plan. I presented that plan to the staff this morning and we all agreed that this was the right direction to go!
We had a meeting with the townspeople yesterday and we asked them the same things everyone is asking us. What is their biggest need? How can we help them best?
Their responses were food & shelter….which we kind of knew that already. But we went into some really specific conversations. We all walked away with the same consensus everywhere we went.
I had spent several days preparing a list of needed supplies…..but they said if we would buy locally or in Haiti in general – we would be helping THEIR economy. Some of them would be able to replace their own things or feed their own families if we invested here. We would be keeping them in business – when right now no one has money to spend.
So today we started creating forms for the community – an Application for Aid. There are 16 zones in & around Mole St Nicolas – including the fishing communities we serve. These are the areas where we will pass out the forms starting tomorrow.
The Form Includes: Name, Number of children & adults in their home, how the hurricane effected them, what their current needs are, an estimated cost to repair their home if they know…if not we will send someone to help them with an estimate.
Then we will have everything IN WRITING. We can confirm the stories we receive & disregard those being opportunistic. If they can’t read or write we will send a staff member to help them.
We will also know how many people are in each home… so when we give food away…we know how much to give to each household.
I think it’s important that we establish some things in writing so we can better process each situation and begin to organize ourselves. This way EVERY ONE also has the same information. They cannot tell us one thing and another staff member something else. I also think just for the integrity of what we are doing – everything should be documented.
We will then have a committee consisting of: Pastor Agenor, Jose/Myself, a few of our core staff, & 3 community leaders. We will divide the forms by zone first. Then together we will pray/review/verify the forms are accurate…..and get to work!
Our plan is to hire Haitians to do the repairs. By employing locally we are offering them a job where they can then have money to feed their family and repair their own home. By purchasing supplies in Haiti – hopefully locally when the roads are passable – then we are offering those who sell an opportunity to fix their own homes & feed their families as well.
So if we focus our first repairs on people with no way to help themselves – we actually help 3 families at once….. the construction worker, the seller, & the person we repaired the home for.
HOW CAN YOU GIVE:
Here’s a link to donate online: http://bit.ly/NWHCMDisasterRelief
Checks can also be mailed to:
7301 N Georgetown Rd
Indianapolis, IN 46268
You can also give your donation over the phone Mon-Fri – – Office Phone: 317-228-8770
As for Collecting Supplies:
As I said above – the best thing we can do as a mission for this tragedy right now- is buy & hire locally. The costs of shipping urgently needed supplies to Haiti, the delay that it will take to finally get it to the Mole, & the custom fees which tend to rise during crisis….also makes it very difficult for us to pursue this option right now.
That being said…
For me…. A “win” is ANY village in Haiti receiving needed help whether they are apart of our ministry or not. So if that’s what you are called and led to do – then I would be happy to connect you with bigger organizations that are able to accept & ship your supplies promptly into Haiti. Please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Below are pictures from downtown in the Mole, parts of the Mountainside that we are able to travel to (some we still can’t yet), and the Preskul Fishing Village.