Tropical storm devastates Haiti
On August 29, a category one tropical storm hit the island of Haiti with the centre of the storm cutting through Jacmel, home to a YWAM ministry. The staff at our YWAM centre were unharmed but damage to the community and the ministry centre were extensive. Despite their own losses, YWAM Haiti are responding quickly to mobilise aid to those affected.
National leader, Terry Snow sent reports from local leaders that many homes have been destroyed and three people were killed. Snow reports that the YWAM house is flooded, and office supplies, furniture and food supplies have been destroyed by water damage. YWAM Jacmel's cyber cafe has also been damaged and a vehicle was covered by rocks from a landslide. All of the YWAMers and the orphans they care for are fine.
Food prices in Haiti have been crippling for much of the population in recent months, leading to strikes and protests. Crops destroyed by this storm will leave families with no food or source of income unless they receive aid. Immediately after the storm hit, YWAMers distributed all their usable food to 180 families.
Local leader, Lubens Romulus, reports how God's heart was demonstrated in the midst of these terrible circumstances by the following example: In the onslaught of the storm, 90 mph winds began to thrash the coast. A banana tree belonging to neighbours crashed into the yard of the YWAM house. YWAM staff scrambled to gather the bananas before they were swept away by flooding. Later, the owners of the tree (devastated by the loss of their food and income source) came to the YWAMers to beg for food. Lubens and the team brought them the bananas they had salvaged for them - they were so astounded by their integrity and generosity, they embraced and kissed them repeatedly!
YWAM Haiti is determined to stand in the gap for the people during this time, holding true to YWAM Haiti's vision: to be a blessing to their community and to the nations. Says Lubens,"As YWAM, we would like to answer these needs. We have been blessed to be a blessing." Funds are already pouring in to help, as well as food supplies which are estimated to provide meals for 5,000 people. The YWAM team are already well engaged in relief efforts of food assistance, house cleaning and clean water delivery. They have mobilised 11 truck loads of potable water to distribute in the worst-hit areas. A strategy for identifying and assisting needy families with food, water, prayer and encouragement is in place. They are also assembling teams to assist with cleaning homes, some of which are filled with overÂ six feet of mud. Clean water is also being delivered to help with hygiene, cooking and drinking.
You can give to the relief fund. Please make your gift payable to YWAM Haiti and designate it for "Victims of Gustav". Please include if you want your gift to go directly to a specific program (Food, House Cleaning or Water) and mail to: YWAM Haiti, PO Box 236, Akron, PA 17501, USA.