Disaster Response / Newsroom

CBF requests support and plans local response effort following Haiti earthquake

By Aaron Weaver

DECATUR, Ga. — The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is requesting gifts for a response effort following 7.2-magnitude earthquake in Haiti which killed more than 1,200 people on Saturday, August 14. A tropical storm system is now threatening the country with flash flooding and mudslides.

CBF field personnel Jenny Jenkins reported that she was safe but felt the quake at her ministry site in Grand Goâve, Haiti. She noted that there was not significant damage in her rural community located 60 miles from the earthquake’s epicenter.

An assessment team from a coalition of ministry partners traveled Sunday to the affected region to bring water filtration systems and emergency food supplies to the survivors. The team also began to assess the damage and needs while meeting with church-based partners in the area.

Eddy Ruble, who directs CBF’s international disaster response efforts, highlighted the struggles of the Haitian people in this moment.

“This is an evolving situation. After disasters, it generally takes days and weeks to accurately assess the number of casualties and property destruction,” Ruble said. Tropical storm Grace threatens to pass over the impacted area Tuesday morning, bringing high winds and heavy rain, which could cause flooding and trigger landslides. This could become a quadruple disaster as Haiti is already reeling in political and security disarray following the assassination of President Jovenel Moise just over a month ago, and Haiti only received its first batch of COVID-19 vaccines in mid-July as the pandemic continues to spread unabated.”

Jenkins serves in Haiti through medical and relational ministries in Grand Goâve, where she felt the call to live and minister full-time in 2008 and began working on the relief effort in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in 2010. For more than a decade, she has devoted her ministry to addressing the urgent medical and housing needs of these earthquake survivors located in a mountainous region of subsistence farmers who have very little access to essential health care services.

“Jenny’s 11-year commitment to communities and building relationships through a long-term presence that leads to sustainable transformational development is a testament to CBF’s disaster response model,” Ruble said.

“Through these relationships built over the past decade with her staff and national partners, Jenny is uniquely positioned to assist the Haiti Baptist Convention and help coordinate a relief effort in this latest disaster to strike Haiti.”

Ruble said that due to the pandemic and a tenuously unsafe security climate in Port-au-Prince, CBF will not facilitate volunteer teams to assist in Haiti. Instead, it will work with and empower local churches and Haitians to respond to these critical needs in their country.

Funds are essential for the immediate needs of water filtration, food and shelter for those who have survived this disaster, as well as for the long-term rebuilding of communities and livelihoods.

Please give generously to CBF’s Haiti response efforts at www.cbf.net/haiti

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CBF is a Christian network that helps people put their faith into 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.

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