11. January, 2017News Comments Off on Hurricane Matthew Humanitarian Mission Trip to Les Cayes Haiti
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Category 4, Hurricane Matthew slammed the southwestern region of the island nation of Haiti on October 4, 2016 with severe destruction affecting about 1.4 million people. The Haitian government assessed the death toll to be approximately 500, even though most other reports place the death figures to over 1000, causing a punctual humanitarian response from neighboring countries and multiple disaster relief organizations.

 

The Turks and Caicos Islands Mission of Seventh-day Adventists carefully planned and prepared a delegation to travel to Haiti to assist in the relief effort. The delegation consisted of the Mission President, Pastor Michael Smith; Executive Secretary Pastor Steve Cornwall; local ADRA Director, Almartha Thomas; ADRA First Responder, Tameka Findlay and Elder Osias Joseph of the Five Cays Seventh-day Adventist Church.

The team departed Providenciales on November 23, 2016 at 12:00 pm for Port Au Prince, Haiti. On arrival, they were welcomed by the President and Executive Secretary of the South Haitian Mission of Seventh-day Adventist. Later that afternoon, the team travelled to the impacted city of Les Cayes. Upon arrival to Les Cayes, a delivery of relief supplies was made to the South Haitian Mission office.   A donation of $3,000.00 USD along with 2000 lbs. of food and clothing were presented to the South Haiti Mission of Seventh-day Adventists on behalf of the Turks and Caicos Islands Mission of Seventh-day Adventists and the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA). Families eagerly waited at the Mission Headquarters for any form of assistance. They were handed cash donations, food, and clothing items.

After the dispersing of supplies, the team took a tour of brutally damaged areas like Rosien, Tobeck , Port Salut, Roche-a- Bateau, Coteaux and Jeremie. During the tour the team visited a small town of about 200 homes that were completely washed away by storm surges. Hurricane Matthew’s destruction left persons living in camping tents and in extreme cases some resorting to sleep in empty tombs.

ADRA Director, Sis Almartha Thomas shared her experience: “The stories and emotions are real; I can remember meeting a young lady and her blind mother who had lost everything but were still driven to not let their current situation define them. No house, no church, no school, no trees, only God are the cries of the displaced families. What is so amazing amid all their devastation and destruction they still hold onto the profession of their faith and continue to trust in God.”

 

 

South Haiti Mission of Seventh-day Adventist Statistics:

 

Total Membership over 83,000 members

42 Pastoral Districts in the Mission

27 Pastoral Districts suffered from Hurricane Matthew

12 Seventh-day Adventists (SDA) deaths

157 SDA Churches destroyed

9 SDA School destroyed

6000 SDA members in need of Humanitarian Aid

 

 

By: Almartha Thomas
Director ADRA TCIM

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