The following is a letter written by IM global servants in Haiti Kihomi Ngwemi, Nuzunga Mabiduga and Nancy and Stephen James to update IM on the suffering and relief efforts in the aftermath of the October 6 earthquake.
We pray you are well in our Lord Jesus’ love and grace. We are well here in Haiti following a 5.9 earthquake off the north shore of the island of Haiti on October 6th with subsequent aftershocks twice since then.
We are writing you to provide you with a response to this earthquake from the perspective of your global servants here in Haiti. We four IM global servants have met and discussed together the ministry dimensions of the suffering this earthquake has caused God’s people in Haiti and have prayed together for those most affected by the natural disaster.
We have asked God to grant us wisdom and humility to know best how he wants us to respond to our brothers and sisters in need at this time and wish to communicate our insights to you, should the wider body of Christ through the American Baptist Churches find themselves called upon to respond in some way to this event.
- As of this writing, it is important to note that, though the loss of life, health, and property is always a call upon us to reach out in compassionate service, the degree of damage done to Haiti by the earthquake in 2010 was immensely larger than the degree of damage done to Haiti by the earthquake in 2018.
- The major damage to lives and property, to the best of our knowledge, occurred in the two cities, Port de Paix and Gros Morne. Although these two communities have people living there who have relationships with the Haitian Baptist Convention, there have not been HBC churches in those two cities and thus a system of direct communication to those in need may be a challenge.
- There are however, non-HBC affiliated faith-based organizations, ministries and NGO’s working sacrificially in those two communities.
- This does not mean that those not living in the two most badly affected communities did not also suffer, as indeed they did, but their suffering largely is in regards to damage to property. Although we heard of reports of injuries in Limbé and one death in nearby Plaisance, we have not personally cared for any of these injuries in our immediate community. We are aware of structural damage to homes of individuals which have put personal safety at risk. This involves both members of Haitian Baptist Churches within the Convention as well as non-members alike living in the north of Haiti.
We hope this letter is helpful as a resource in your ministry to the suffering ones in Haiti.
In our Savior’s love and peace, your global servants:
Kihomi Ngwemi Nzunga Mabudiga Nancy James Stephen James