T“hough the fig trees do not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crops fail and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I (we) will rejoice in God my Savior.”
Habakkuk 3:17 & 18
Dear Friends and Family,
The above verses perfectly describe our community in Haiti. As we have seen in the past, the Haitian people are of strong wills and strong faith. They do not give up easily and they are not giving up now. Their crops are corn, peanuts, plantain, beans, papayas, as opposed to figs, grapes, and olives, but the loss is just as real and the rejoicing and hope for the future is just the same.
Fond-des-Blancs was severely hit and damaged during the storm of Hurricane Matthew. We are very grateful that we did not have any loss of life in our area, but there is damage in many other ways. Everyone lost their gardens and many of their animals both of which are crucial to their daily livelihoods.
Our first response was to send the bulldozer to be the first to get out on the road to start the clean up to allow traffic to flow again so supplies could get into the area. Schools in the area were closed for a week so the buildings and yards could get cleaned and dried. They are all open and functioning again. We have begun giving tuition assistance to all our students to allow their parents to use those resources to fix their homes or start their gardens again. Through the churches and in-community surveys of needs, financial assistance is being and will be given to those most in need. The first aid is going to families of those in our church, however the aid won’t stop there. We are here for all citizens of Fond-des-Blancs and the surveys that have been completed will ensure that those with the most urgent needs will be at the forefront of receiving assistance.
Many, many trees went down everywhere including our yard. We still cook with charcoal at the schools and these trees will be repurposed to become charcoal which will be used for the cooking of food for the students.
Everything at the farm was destroyed. We had one small patch that was not destroyed during the middle of the storm, but then the rain kept coming and destroyed that patch also. However, we did have a reserve of corn in the grain bins which were not ruined so we are still able to feed the students temporarily. We will use the extra assistance donations coming in to buy food for them until another crop from the farm can be planted and harvested.
A group of six people, all who have come before and worked together before even though they are from three different states (Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky) came to put the roof back on the multi-purpose building. They worked tirelessly to get this done which they did plus a few other extra jobs. We are grateful to them, their families and their churches for making it possible for them to come.
“The Sovereign Lord is my (our) strength; He makes my (our) feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me (us) to tread on the heights.” Habakkuk 3:19 We continue to move forward.
Your prayers and generosity have been a major encouragement to us and the people of Fond-des-Blancs and we hope you understand that.
Yours in Christ,