Haiti (MNN) — If you look at social media feeds, you’ll see people stranded on their rooftops in Cap Haitien, Haiti.
Google the same thing, and you won’t see anything but coverage of flooding in November 2014. What gives?
Eva DeHart with For Haiti With Love says, “Cap Haitien is just a forgotten part of Haiti. Apparently, last November, the right press people were in town to get it covered, but if you don’t have outside media there when it’s happening. Cap Haitien just gets lost in the shuffle.” She confirms the rooftop pictures as an accurate depiction of what’s happening right now.
“This morning [Monday], it has stopped raining and people are putting things out in the sunshine. But for the last week, it’s been raining really, really hard again, and there are all kinds of flooding in the streets.”
DeHart goes on to describe the severity of the situation. “It’s just been a hit, almost like the last one in November. People ask us to please pray for the rains to go away because they’ve just had all that they can take.”
People in affected neighborhoods walked through knee-high water to retrieve what they could from their flooded homes. DeHart says, “You’ve got a depressing situation with their economics, no jobs, their living conditions anyway, and then when their tumbling little houses get half full of rain, and the flooding starts taking all of what possessions they do have, it just really gets overwhelming.”
As the residents of Cap Haitien wait for the flood waters to recede once more, in order to assess damage, there’s another problem: how to get food.
DeHart explains, “We have a situation where their normal way of dealing with hunger doesn’t work anymore because everything that they need to use is wet.” Already, For Haiti With Love has seen an increase in the numbers. “We have people coming for food, mainly, because their cooking method is open charcoal fires on the ground. When these conditions happen, all of the charcoal gets wet, and all the rice gets wet. The street vendors can’t prepare the meals for them because the streets are flooded.”
Fortunately, a delayed container (intended for Christmas delivery) holds both goods and food supplies that are being distributed now. DeHart says they’re already planning ahead and fundraising ($10k) to keep the food coming. “‘Feed My Starving Children’ has always promised us that in situations like this, they will do their best to get us a container out of their normal rotation so that we can handle the emergencies. So if we have the money, or we at least know the money is coming, then we can go ahead and request, and they can get it in.”
At the heart of the matter is why For Haiti With Love is even going to the trouble to help. Cap Haitien was and is a neglected field of opportunity. The ministry was founded to meet physical needs in order to meet the spiritual needs and vice versa. So when does the Gospel come into play? DeHart says, “That happens more on the tables in the burn clinic. By the time they’re coming to us for other needs, they seem to already know who we are and what we’re representing and that they can come to us seeking God’s help.”
There is (1) food program providing nutritionally balanced meals to the hungry, (2) formula for babies with no mothers or mothers without breast milk, (3) construction program that has completed churches, schools, marketplaces in 6 villages, over 50 homes for the homeless and (4) medical program providing 24-hour emergency medical care for the poor.