Leaving a trail of destruction in its wake, Hurricane Matthew made landfall on Tuesday, October 4, overwhelming Haiti, Cuba and the Dominican Republic, and causing extensive damage and flooding in Jamaica, the Bahamas, and Florida. As the massive hurricane makes its way up the east coast of the United S, many of our member churches have begun to share news from the areas affected by the hurricane and mobilize efforts to bring relief and recovery to the those hardest-hit by the storm.
The Free Methodist USA shares from Bishop Desvariste in Haiti that there has been destruction to churches, schools and homes – http://fmcusa.org/blog/2016/10/05/haiti-hurricane-matthew-update/
The African Methodist Episcopal Church 16th Episcopal District shares that attempts have been made to contact all the churches in the Haitian Annual Conference, but that widespread destruction to infrastructure has made that difficult. – http://us5.campaign-archive1.com/?u=8253b0952c51f2b3dcb331ea6&id=04302b2c18&e=ff4d1f4791
The United Methodist Committee on Relief has been in contact with their partners in the region and are working with Eglise Méthodiste D’Haiti, the Methodist Church in Haiti, to assess the damage in this country still trying ot recover from the catastrophic earthquake of 2010 – http://www.umc.org/news-and-media/united-methodist-churches-watching-hurricane-matthew.
The Wesleyan Church USA Haiti Mission Area Director Dan Irvine
writes, “No doubt there will be many losses as we get reports from all areas after the storm passes. Our leaders are going to the southern region as soon as the road is open. There is a bridge washed out and it will be several days before the rivers are crossable.” https://www.wesleyan.org/5558/hurricane-matthew-update-first-response-haiti.
Often we wonder what we can do to help following such natural disasters. UMCOR has a helpful article on the best way to donate or help following a natural disaster – https://www.umcor.org/umcor/resources/news-stories/2016/september/0915donatethis.