Stay tuned to the OPC Disaster Response Facebook page for updates on Hurricane Matthew!
Saturday, October 8, 2016 post from Rev. Eric Watkins, Pastor of Covenant OPC in St. Augustine, FL:
“Church property is ok, but heavy damage likely in certain areas of church geography. I’m concerned for one family who lives in a frail mobile home. They evacuated, but their house could easily be totaled by wind and water. Others who live on the beach have not been able to get home yet to see the damage.
I’ll update you Monday when I have more info. We likely won’t be having services tomorrow, as the power is still out at the church, and many people have trees down, etc. to deal with. Power still out at my house (likely until tomorrow); so I’m writing from a Burger King!”
Posted by OP Missionary Ben Hopp on October 5th:
The hurricane has moved past Haiti through the night. News from the southern peninsula tells of widespread property damage but very little loss of life. Praise the Lord! In Port-au-Prince and at the Mission Home at Kaliko there was strong wind and lots of rain. Waters flowing under the two main bridges in Port-au-Prince came very high put did not damage the bridges. Though the rain has stopped people are still afraid to go out on the roads.
I spoke with Menorce at the Kaliko Mission Home this morning and he said they got strong winds and lots of rain. The house and trees faired well for which we are thankful. He did pass on the very sad news that his grandson, Jonas, was killed in Les Cayes (southern peninsula) by a falling tree. Please pray for the family as he was just 8 years old.
Pastor Lexene on La Gonâve said there is a lot of destruction from the wind and rain. It is still raining and many of the towns are out of contact because the roads have been destroyed. Again we thank God for the minimal loss of life but know time will bring to light the extent of the damage. Many said this is by far the worst storm to pass the island since a strong hurricane in 1953.
The leader at the Nan Mangot church, Teveno, was up at the church yesterday. There is lots of damage to property and houses. Many people also lost animals through the storm. Continue to pray as they assess the damage and as we figure out how we can help.
As you consider how you might help, do remember first to pray. Some fellow missionaries from the Central Plateau of Haiti sent out these encouraging words late yesterday. “We listened anxiously all day to the Haitian news about the amount of houses destroyed, but–THANKFULLY–we haven’t heard of a high death or injury toll. Praise the Lord! We may not have the whole story, but we do know that it could have been much worse. I think the many warnings on the news, on the telephones by the cell companies, and by missionaries in the area helped people realize the severity of the storm and to make preparations. There is a lot of devastation to property that shouldn’t be minimized. Hunger and disease from contaminated water are both possibilities.” Remember to seek out someone who has people on the ground in Haiti who can assess the needs first-hand and give the help where it is really needed. The OPC Haiti Mission is currently assessing needs among the churches we work with.