Louisville—In the wake of devastation and death in Haiti caused by Hurricane Matthew, Baptist Haiti Mission leaders are thankful that there was not considerable damage to buildings at the three campuses of Baptist Haiti Mission, a partner with Crossings Ministries and the Kentucky Baptist Convention.
However, many churches in the ASEBACH association, which has worked alongside BHM for the last 70 years and consists of more than 350 churches, are reporting extensive damage to their properties and communities. Throughout the years, Baptist Haiti Mission has transformed their role with the association from planting churches to serving and equipping them.
At least 30 churches and schools within the association have sustained substantial damage, hundreds of people were left without homes, there were several deaths, and many people have lost their gardens and animals, Baptist Haiti Mission’s reports said.
BHM’s northernmost campus, near the town of Atrel, was among the hardest hit. Kyrk, the BHM missionary that lives in the area, has been assessing needs of the churches and communities. The list is still growing.
“As disastrous as an event like this is, we recognize God’s sovereignty and the opportunity this is to build up the churches and reach the nation with the gospel of Jesus Christ,” BHM representatives said.
“The leaders of these churches, which are located all over the country (except the southern peninsula), have the network in place to put resources in the hands of those who need them,” BHM officials said of the need in Haiti.
“Furthermore, locals are willing and able to work to rebuild their homes and communities. Therefore, the need is not to have volunteers on the ground, but rather to have funds to buy needed materials and help local people who are already working hard to help their neighbors,” BHM officials added.
“However, we can take heart, because the resources required to meet all of the spiritual needs that we know about hung on a cross 2,000 years ago and cannot be bought with money,” they added.
To help with relief efforts in Haiti, go to www.bhm.org or send checks or chlorine tablets to Baptist Haiti Mission, 13420 Eastpoint Centre Drive, Louisville, KY 40223. (WR)
Devin Norton, a BHM intern, contributed to this article.