Needs are Immense. God is Faithful. | Hurricane Matthew, Update 5Rich Stigall
An update letter from Joe Knittig, CEO of The Global Orphan Project, currently on the ground in Haiti.
The situation here is worse than anyone expected and deteriorating. The death toll is climbing, and many of the hardest hit areas — like Jeremie — and rural communities have not been reached or assessed at all. Each day that passes without clean water, food, medicine, dry clothing, increases the general desperation level. This makes access to the weakest and most vulnerable children more complex.
In the midst of this, we are encouraged and optimistic in our specific mission. To say that doors are opening on behalf of these children is an understatement. You all are responding big; consequently, we are able to secure what we need and the various delivery means we need — helicopters, planes, trucks. God is in the midst of this hard-to-explain pain.
Last night, we got a truck to Cayes. That’s a huge victory. El Shaddai was able to secure more food for all of the kids sheltering at Cambry.
We are bullish that within the next 24-48 hours, all of the children in our partners’ care in the Cayes region will have at least 30 solid days of food, clean water, and other basics. That’s the goal.
All of the children from Leogane are now with Pastor Claude at La Tramblay, safe and sound — thanks to so many friends here who stepped up to help.
The curve ball last night had to do with Jeremie. El Shaddai has an anchor campus there with children. Jeremie has been devastated and communication is nil. Access is virtually nil. Dony St. Germaine with El Shaddai has been holding down that fort any way that he can.
Here are the plans for today, God willing:
- A small plane will shuttle food and supplies from Port au Prince (PaP) to Cayes, with delivery to Cambry, Cassamajor, and La Hatte (La Hatte delivery will happen by shuttling motorcycles one at a time with supplies through the river).
- A truck loaded with food and supplies will be loaded in PaP and move to Cayes, also with destination aimed at Cambry, Cassamajor, La Hatte. (We are flying in addition to trucking, because trucks are not guarantied to get there – redundancy is essential. If both missions are successful, the food and water situation for the kids at Cayes will be stable. We can begin to focus on next-level needs.)
- A larger plane full of food and water will fly from PaP to Jeremie today at around 2 pm. A couple of us will go with that plane and stay in Jeremie with Dony to assess emergency needs for the children there.
One of the needs presented to us is dry clothing. Children lost everything. So many are in the same wet, muddy clothing they had on the day Matthew hit. It’s a major problem.
We are fortunate to be the only orphan care ministry that owns an apparel company! Jeff, the COO at Life SA, has activated our sewing employees today to begin making children’s clothes. They will sew 2,500 new garments for kids in the next 2-3 days, so that we can distribute them.
Our hope is to secure a fabric partnership to make many more garments for children in need.
What a beautiful thing to see Haitian workers making Haitian clothes for Haitian kids in the midst of crisis. Blows us away!
I probably won’t be able to communicate with you for a couple of days. So, God willing, here is what we hope to accomplish tomorrow and Sunday:
- Complete assessments of Darivager, Biggarouse, Cassamajor, La Hatte, Leogane.
- Shuttle continued food and water support to kids at Jeremie by plane or helicopter.
- Assess Jeremie children with Dony so that supporters of that community know how they can engage to help.
- Complete initial round of new children’s clothing so we can distribute that.
There is much, much more. But you get the picture.
We will send photos as we are able.
We ask that you pray over all of the above details.
In closing, we have such an incredible team on the ground here and an extended family (you) to match.
To give financially to GO Haiti response efforts, please direct your gifts to the Haiti Relief Fund.