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Posted by on Oct 15, 2021 in Community of Southern Haiti, Earthquake 2021

Aid Makes Its Way to Les Cayes Despite Challenges

Boxes of Aid await pick-up in the port of Mirogoane, Haiti

Pastor Samuel and his team received 40 pallets from an aid shipment delivered by B Strong Disaster Relief.

It’s been just over two months since the 7.2 earthquake hit southern Haiti. Since then, we’ve been working very closely with Pastor Samuel on two fronts. First, we’ve been continuing to send aid, including food and medical supplies, that Sam and his team have been distributing throughout the south. Second, we worked with Sam to get all the remaining supplies delivered to the school so that it could open earlier this month. That’s right! The school is open! But I’ll delve deeper into that in my next blog post. For now, I’ll recap some of what’s gone on with regards to disaster relief.

Turmoil & Violence Make Aid Distribution Difficult

As I’m sure you’ve read in the media, the situation in Haiti has deteriorated significantly over the last few months. In addition to the political turmoil caused by President Moïse’s assassination on July 7th and the devastation caused by the earthquake on August 14th, Haiti has become overrun with gangs who control the capital city of Port-au-Prince and its suburbs, as well as all the routes in and out of the city to places north and south, including Les Cayes. Roadblocks have prevented much-needed aid from getting to the victims of the earthquake, and highway robbers have made transporting what aid can get through particularly dangerous. Kidnappings are on the rise, there is no fuel (which means no electricity), and there’s a surge in COVID. Hospitals are shut down, and the people are desperate.

Despite all of this, we have some GOOD NEWS to report.

Aid shipment arrives in the port of Miragoâne, Haiti

Aid shipment arrives in the port of Miragoâne, Haiti

Pallets of Supplies for Sam’s Church Network

Immediately following the earthquake, we heard from David Byrd, a friend and member of Mariners Church who also happens to be the founder of Calvary International Discipleship Ministries in Jacmel, Haiti. David was helping GEM (Global Empowerment Mission) deliver a shipment of aid supplies (primarily medical but also tarps, inflatable mattresses, blankets, oil, rice, flashlights, and other necessary items) to Les Cayes. Sam was the recipient of 40 pallets, which he and his team distributed to congregations throughout their extensive church network. Thanks to a donation from Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago, IL, which was coordinated with the help of our good friend and former Mariners pastor, Robin Riley, we were able to provide the trucks and security necessary to safely move these goods from the port in Miragoâne to a distribution point outside of Les Cayes. With the remaining funds, they purchased and distributed rice, oil, and other food stuffs.

Boxes of aid await pickup for distribution in southern Haiti

Boxes of aid await pickup for distribution to the victims of the earthquake in southern Haiti

Plane Loaded with Medical Supplies for Les Cayes, Jérémie, and Nippes

More immediately following the earthquake, a donation from Mariners Church’s own Disaster Relief Fund allowed us to sponsor an air flight full of medical supplies which were dropped in the southern cities of Les Cayes and Jérémie and the greater Nippes region, all of which suffered extensive damage in the quake. These supplies were received from the United Kingdom by our partner in Haiti, Food for the Poor, through which we’ve been purchasing most of the furniture for Collège Lumière. These medical supplies consisted of 30 “kits” containing enough pharmaceuticals, disinfectants, bandages, etc. to care for 300 injured… for a total of 9,000 people. Fifty percent of these kits were delivered to Les Cayes! Recipients of the kits included:

  • Hospital St. Antoine de Jérémie
  • Hospital General des Cayes
  • Nippes Sanitary Department
  • Hospital Ofatma des Cayes

Both of these events occurred as a result of the relationships Pastor Sam and Mariners Church have developed over the last few years with other individuals, churches, and NPOs, both here and in Haiti. Thanks to the unwavering support of all these folks, we prevailed against unexpected delays, constantly changing conditions, safety challenges, and transportation issues to deliver help and hope to southern Haiti after yet another natural disaster.