As you have no doubt heard, Hurricane Matthew is hitting Florida this Friday morning. Getting less publicity is the tragedy of a few days ago, when Matthew ripped through the nation of Haiti. Its effects were devastating, and southwest Haiti, the area our church has especially been investing in, was hit the hardest.
The good news is that the orphans and staff we support are currently safe. In preparing for the storm, the children from the ESMI orphanages in the more rural surrounding areas (such as Cavaillon) were transferred to our Cambry headquarters near Les Cayes. Louis St. Germain worked day and night in advance to stockpile food and water and also rented a large generator. There is currently around a 5-day supply of food for the 450 orphans who are gathered there.
But it will be a long time before these orphans are able to return to their homes. Louis has described the effects of the storm to be a “total disaster.” Early reports from the various rural orphanages (including the one in Cavaillon) are that the roofs of many buildings are destroyed or severely damaged, which means that probably all possessions and clothing have been lost and that much work needs to be done before these buildings are safe to live in again. The Cambry site (which also has been hit hard) will be stressed by overpopulation for quite some time.