After Hurricane Matthew in 2016 caused widespread destruction in the same area of Haiti affected by the recent earthquake, a joint project of Brethren Disaster Ministries and L’Eglise des Freres d’Haiti (the Haitian Church of the Brethren) brought relief and recovery to the town of Saut Mathurine.
At the time of Hurricane Matthew, Ilexene Alphonse was a Church of the Brethren mission worker in Haiti. He and Haitian church leaders had never visited the far southwestern part of Haiti but felt called to go there to develop a response. After a harrowing journey, they felt led to Saut Mathurine, where they found that no one else had offered aid. Soon, a major hurricane response was underway that included relief food and supplies, distributions of goats, and the building of 11 new homes.
In a testament to the joint Church of the Brethren work, those 11 homes survived the recent earthquake, with just one sustaining very minor damage. They were some of the only buildings still standing in the community.
After the hurricane response, the community asked that a church be started, and a temporary church building was quickly built. While that church building did not survive the recent earthquake, a firm foundation of followers of Christ did, and they are ready to rebuild the community and to build a permanent church. The Global Mission office of the Church of the Brethren in the US will be helping to collect funds for the new church building in Saut Mathurine.
In latest developments, the first 10 recipients of new Brethren-built homes have been selected by the community, from among families who lost homes in the recent earthquake. The project expects to start working on the first five homes next week.
— This article was provided by Brethren Disaster Ministries staff and will appear in their upcoming newsletter.
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