On Saturday August 14th at 8:29am the entire country of Haiti felt the earth move beneath their feet. Although we felt the earthquake at our guesthouse in Port au Prince, there was little to no damage or injury throughout the city. However, the epicenter occurring in Nippes meant the southern areas of Haiti were not so lucky. Although the south of Haiti is less densely populated, the 7.2 magnitude earthquake caused extensive damage, loss of life, and injuries. Many buildings collapsed, and the death toll continues to rise. Hospitals in the area are overwhelmed as they try to make due with what they have. Recent gang wars have led to the main road connecting the southern areas to the capital city being unsafe and often impassable which significantly complicates relief efforts. On Monday August 16th, just 48 hours after the earthquake, Tropical Storm Grace made landfall in Haiti. The southern cities once again received the strongest winds and the heaviest rains complicating relief efforts.
As you can imagine, many people have reached out to our SIF staff asking how they can help, pray, and come alongside our Haitian brothers and sisters during this very difficult time. We will continue to utilize our ministry avenues to support relief efforts as best as possible. The guesthouse has been opened to relief workers, mainly Haitians traveling south to help. We were also able to send medical supplies, scrubs, antibiotics, and many other medications to a hospital in Les Cayes to help replenish their stock. We remain in contact with organizations in the south to see how else we can assist during this time.
The August 14th earthquake brought up many traumatizing memories for everyone as they relived the nightmare of the 2010 earthquake. Many people are struggling with PTSD. We are doing what we can to support people through this difficult time and encourage you to pray for the emotional trauma as well as the physical trauma.
At this time, we are encouraging our partners who want to directly help relief efforts to give to organizations and ministries who work in disaster relief.
We will continue to assess how SIF can best assist the Haitian people and disaster relief efforts as things continue to unfold. Please be in prayer for all those affected.
Looking Heavenward, Travis & Erin