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Field Notes From Haiti: Devastation in Jeremie

As the reports from Haiti stream in, we have learned that around 1,000 individuals in our network have been greatly affected and have not yet received aid.

We are not a relief organization, but we are committed to sticking by our partners through thick and thin. In desperate times, we must show up and meet urgent needs.

Les CayesPhoto courtesy of CNN.

As a result, we have provided 950 locally-made relief kits to the families in our network. All the supplies in the kit are sourced from Haitian businesses – infusing much-needed cash and commerce into the economy.

At the moment, our staff, a Business Affiliate (BA) volunteer Roger, and members of our Haitian network (whose businesses and homes survived), are distributing the kits and praying with those affected.

Roger leads a team of BAs who are deeply committed to partnering with our Local Community Institutions (LCIs) in Haiti.
These Business Affiliates faithfully walk alongside and build relationships with the LCI leaders, emerging entrepreneurs, and local businesspeople.

Roger recently headed to Haiti to meet with our network and assist in the relief efforts. After stops in Petit Goave and Les Cayes, yesterday the team arrived in Jeremie – a city devastated by the Hurricane.

Roger’s reflections on his first night in Jeremie:

Settling in for the night, feeling so blessed yet guilty to have a dry bed to sleep in. It has been raining vigorously and so many here have no roof over their homes.

Beautiful Jeremie is devastated with virtually no aid being delivered. Our convoy of relief kits through Partners Worldwide is some of the only help that has come this far out.

Imagine a beautiful place – a fishing village with a quaint port, old French architecture, and friendly people – suddenly reduced to the likes of a war zone. Large trees slammed to the ground and those still standing stripped and barren.

Pray we can be a flicker of light.

Pray for these people.

It is bad, but our team is in good shape. We will be doing assessments of the damage to our LCI businesses and the members’ homes, but I can tell you it will be a long road to recovery.

One of our original, faithful LCI members got a loan to buy inventory for her clothing store right before the storm and the salt water surge destroyed all of it. About $2,600 worth. No way she can recover without a miracle.

Pray for wisdom as our role is unclear. This hurricane has definitely put us (our Business Affiliate tea) in a position to reevaluate our mission in Haiti for the foreseeable future.

We need wisdom to proceed; that should be our primary prayer.

Good night and God bless you for all your prayers and support.