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Conference responds to Matthew's impact on Haiti

Conference responds to Matthew's impact on Haiti

Denominational News Missions and Outreach
--Photos by Simon Kim via UMNS
The greatest impact of Hurricane Matthew was on the island nation of Haiti. The Florida Conference's office of Missional Engagement, through our Volunteers in Mission, Global Missions and Disaster Response staff have been in communication with our partners in Haiti.

Latest update

We have reached out to the Methodist Church in Haiti through Dr. John and Sharon Harbottle, missionaries of the Methodist Church in Britain serving as Mission Partners in Haiti. On Oct 8, Sharon Harbottle reported the following:

“News of the damage from Hurricane Matthew has reached you all by now and the pictures in the media we are all seeing are still the only real information available at this stage. There continues to be no communication with our brothers and sisters in Jeremie and Leon in the far west, but there is some with Cayes on the south coast where virtually all metal sheet roofs were blown off, and there was substantial flooding with damage to both buildings and crops. Travelling down into Port au Prince and on to Carrefour showed that most of the flooding has subsided and that there has been a major clearing of debris and rubbish from the streets. On leaving Carrefour to travel further west into Petit Goave, electricity poles were blown over or broken leading to loss of power to many communities, banana trees broken and flattened, breadfruit trees shredded with all their fruit lost, mango and avocado trees uprooted or broken, papaya trees left as bare trunks with no leaves or fruit, and ground crops flattened, washed away or left in total disarray by the wind.”

Assessing the needs

At this point, the Methodist Church of Haiti is working to assess what urgent help is required both immediately and over the next few weeks, before the longer term recovery plan can be developed.

Both UMCOR and UMVIM recommend to be patient until further communication is established with the Methodist Church in Haiti and the Circuit Superintendents of the affected areas.

According to a recent article published by the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR):

“Thomas Kemper, chief executive of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries, the parent organization to UMCOR, assured Bishop Gesner Paul, leader of the Methodist Church of Haiti, Eglise Méthodiste d’Haïti (EMH), of both the prayers and the assistance of United Methodists as the island undergoes yet another disaster. Kemper’s letter to Bishop Paul noted that The United Methodist Church’s network of volunteers in mission are on the alert to possible post-hurricane service; but, at this point, the agency is advising volunteers not to head immediately to the stricken nation. The Global Ministries office of mission volunteers recommends that volunteer teams wait until the church in Haiti can work out a system for the most productive use of their work in the areas of greatest need.”

What you can do now

We will communicate any requests for volunteer deployment as soon as it is available to us. In the meantime, there are a couple of things you can do:
  • Pray for our Haitian sisters and brothers in the days, weeks, and months ahead.
  • Donate. Financial contributions are a great way to respond to this crisis. The immediate needs will be relief and recovery, with long-term development work to follow. In response to Hurricane Matthew, click here to make financial contributions to UMCOR’s international relief fund (Advance #982450). Write “For Haiti” on the memo line.

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