School has started up again in Kawo and Nan wo. There has been a buzz of excitement and activity; taking new uniforms up the steep trail into the mountains, getting new books and supplies, hiring more teachers; all the things that go with a new school year. There are about 500 children in the two schools this year. Oh my! This is wonderful and scary at the same time. Their camp in August was a huge success with children asking Jesus into their hearts. We heard reports that they had so much fun and hope was once again nourished within them.
We look at what has been accomplished this past year with your help and stand amazed. One year ago the schools were struggling to get by with volunteer teachers and a director. Today, both schools are thriving with paid teachers and 500 children! On the first day of school in September everyone was grateful for all they had.
Hurricane Hanna struck the second day of school and hovered over the central part of Haiti. The rains came and continued and then continued some more. At one point the storm left to go out over the ocean, but then returned – something unheard of. Homes were destroyed and peoplewho live out in the valley and in other areas have lost everything. They came in to stay in town – wrapping their babies in plastic and carrying them over their heads in the rain. People from the city started out into the valley to help but the water was waist deep – they had to return. Gardens are gone and the Nan wo valley is now covered with water and sand.
National and World News reported, “Haitians took to their roofs to escape rising floodwaters for the second time in a week on Sunday as squalls from Hurricane Ike killed 58 people and collapsed a bridge that cut the last land route into the starving city of Gonaives. Many more Haitian lives were threatened as Ike’s downpours added to flooding from the recent Hurricanes Hanna, Gustav and Fay.”
The government school in Dessalines has been made into a make-shift refuge camp for about 600 people. Everyone is hungry with no food. World Vision is trying to get in to give out food and the orphanage where we stay has helped so much by passing out food, taking people in and meeting needs. I hear it’s pretty crazy there.
The church/school in Nan wo where we support children has much damage done to it. It is not usable until they are able to buy the materials and repair it. This is estimated to take about three weeks of work. Pastor Louinet is overwhelmed with responsibility to the little ones and their families. Everyone was so excited for school to start ~ children look forward to their studies and knowing that they will receive a meal at school.
Now, books and uniforms have been washed away in the floodwaters. Buildings including their school/church and many of their homes (no fewer than 40 of the children’s homes) have been destroyed. They have no physical place to live or worship or learn.
The mountain village of Kawo has faired better than the valley. The school building is in tact. There is some damage from the winds and some homes have been lost but they are not experiencing the floodwaters that the valley is.
A small team will be going down to Dessalines and the Nan wo valley on October 21st. Our original plan was to take pictures of the children in school and continue building on their new church/school. Now we are open to what the Lord would have us do and will most likely be focused on relief and rebuilding efforts.
Please pray with us and open your hearts as these people try to begin again. We need to send them money to rebuild their homes and their church/school.
Perhaps you can assist us in sending additional funds to Pastor Louinet to purchase materials to rebuild the school, replace books and uniforms. We can help to restore hope in these ways. We would also like to send additional money to assist the families of our sponsored children in rebuilding their homes and ensure that while the school building is being repaired the children have food.
Thank you for your prayers for the people of Haiti. We all serve a God that is bigger than any hurricane. He can and will answer the prayers received on behalf of those suffering from these losses.
As you pray and consider what you can do, if making a donation to the HOPE in Haiti hurricane rebuilding efforts is on your heart we would welcome your donation. You can go to our website at hopeinhaiti.org and make a donation of any amount from the Our Kids page by selecting the Pay Pal donate button. You can also send a check made out to HOPE in Haiti to PO Box 1172, Sultan, WA 98294.
Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to read our update. Thank you for your prayers now during this time of suffering and loss. Thank you for your prayers every day for the children in Haiti. Thank you for your continued sponsorship of a child as it is through your consistent gifts that hope will be sustained after the rebuilding is complete. Thank you for your additional gifts – your love and support is far reaching.
Serving Him together,
Dixie, Rachel, Grace, Christopher and Nina
Hope in Haiti Board
“It is not so true that ‘prayer changes things’ as that prayer changes me and I change things.” Oswald Chambers.