Categories: News & Announcements
Subject: Hurricane Report
Date: Sat, Oct 15, 2016 7:38 PM
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
To catch you up on events in Haiti. As you may know, I have been in Haiti since Oct.8 and have visited 4 or 5 areas affected by Hurricane Matthew. In partnership with Lutheran Church Charities, we have prepared and distributed $10,000 worth of food that will feed over 400 families for a week.
I have had the opportunity to meet with church and community leaders, pastors and friends. Early last week, I was able to talk with Rev. Ross Johnson, of LC-MS World Relief and Human Care, Rev. Ted Kray, LC-MS Director for the Caribbean and Latin America and Tim Hertzner, of Lutheran Church Charities.
All of our discussions were very encouraging pertaining to partnership, cooperation and transparency in our recovery work in Haiti.
The south is now open all the way to Jeremie and while there is much destruction, food, water and assistance is moving into LesCayes and Jeremie. We have seen convoys of food and UN trucks headed to the places in need.
I feel as though the larger agencies can respond to the overwhelming food and immediate needs better than we can. We have helped a couple of isolated areas and we may do more but I think that overall, the scope of the need is so far beyond our ability those needs are best left to UNICEF, FOOD FOR THE POOR and other international organizations. Most of those agencies will leave in a short time and we can fill the vacuum that is left. We excel at helping individuals and that is what is needed to get the economy moving in the South again.
Where I believe we can best help is in the area of targeting isolated areas of need, like the 5 houses and school in Kenskoff that have experienced winds high enough to remove their roofs, and Jean-Louis where the church lost 1/3 of the roof and the gardens were flooded. I also believe that we can assist in the redevelopement of agriculture, fishing, and replacing herds, flocks, tools and business supplies to get the economy moving again in the South.
Goats are about $50. each, a flock of 25 laying hens is $250. and a chicken coup and feed runs another $500 or so.
I’m not sure of the cost of the small fishing boats, nets and lobster pots, but I will meet with Pastor Paul Toulotte before leaving Haiti to get those figures.
We will continue our Community Health Outreach and the microloan and other educational programs.
The LC-MS will be focused on roofs in the area of LesCayes, first with pastor’s homes and churches, then other areas.
I think if we focus on getting people back to work will be the best use of our funds and best for the people of Haiti. The more people that are earning a living the less pressure there will be on outside food and support.
Thank you for your prayers and encouragement. I will have more figures etc. later on. But as people ask how they can help, this is what we will be doing – helping the places that are being overlooked and helping Haiti get back to work. So, we aren’t going to collect clothes, shoes, or anything that needs to be shipped. It is expensive, and most of that is overkill. We will be asking for donations to purchase those things needed to give people their lives back.
Thank you for however you can help.
Because of Christ, for the Cause of Christ,
Helen M. Roenfeldt
Executive Director, Mission: Haiti