October 6, 2016
By Aaron Weaver
DECATUR, Ga. — The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is planning its response to Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, Cuba and the Bahamas and is requesting donations to support the disaster relief efforts in the Caribbean as CBF Disaster Response also monitors the storm’s path along the East Coast.
Hurricane Matthew struck the southern coast of Haiti Oct. 4 with devastating 145-mile-per-hour winds and torrential rain. A United Nations official declared the hurricane as “the largest humanitarian event” in the country of 11 million people since the deadly earthquake in 2010, which left more than 200,000 dead, 55,000 homeless and thousands living in tents and other temporary dwellings.
Early reports indicated that at least 65 people had been killed, dozens more injured and others missing as of Thursday morning. The U.N. estimated that 2.3 million people in Haiti reside in areas impacted by Hurricane Matthew. Initial assessments show thousands of houses destroyed or significantly damaged in the country.
Hurricane Matthew also passed through Cuba on Tuesday with 140-mile-per-hour winds and the southeastern city of Baracoa suffered extensive damage from the storm. Four people were killed in the Dominican Republic according to news reports.
CBF Global Missions has reported that field personnel Jenny Jenkins, who serves in Grand Goâve, Haiti, is safe, after spending 36 hours waiting out the storm at her house and mission center, where the roof flooded and caused water damage to the rooms and beds. Jenkins has worked in Haiti since 2008 and was instrumental in CBF’s relief efforts in the aftermath of the deadly 2010 earthquake.
David Harding, CBF’s International Disaster Response Coordinator said that a coordinated response in the region is beginning to take shape alongside global Baptist groups with their partners in the area. Harding emphasized the importance of the partnership of CBF of Florida and CBF Bahamas as plans are formulated for a response in Haiti, southeast Cuba and the U.S.
“Our focus will be to help the most vulnerable that do not have financial reserves to recover from the loss,” Harding said. “Assistance in this time of need will give a sense of hope that God and God’s people care about their plight in the midst of devastation.”
Jenkins will serve as a point person for the Fellowship, said Becky Smith, who serves with CBF Global Missions as Area Coordinator of Mission Teams for the Americas region.
“With Jenny’s local medical and community development work already in place, along with her network of Haitian Baptist colleagues, we have a wonderful system of support on the ground on which to base relief work,” Smith said.
“Your prayers and your donations to CBF International Disaster Response will make a much-needed difference,” she said.
We will continue to provide updates on CBF’s relief efforts in the Caribbean and the United States as Hurricane Matthew continues to travel up the East Coast.
Donations to support CBF’s disaster response efforts to Hurricane Matthew may be made online at www.cbf.net/matthew or by mailing a check payable to “CBF” with Acct. 17004 in the memo line to:
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
P.O. Box 102972
Atlanta, GA 30368-2972
CBF is a Christian Network that helps people put their faith to practice through ministry efforts, global missions and a broad community of support. The Fellowship’s mission is to serve Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission.