HAITI UPDATE — CATEGORY 4 MERCY!

He causeth it to come, whether for correction, or for his land, or for mercy (Job 37:13).

Early on Tuesday morning October 4, 2016, the world monitored graphics on their television screens and over the internet of Hurricane Matthew as the hurricane force winds around the eye began to lash out at the southern peninsula of Haiti. The early morning sun rays were replaced with the 145 mph winds from this Category 4 hurricane. By 11:00 a.m. the winds around the eye had demolished the southern peninsula of Haiti and were in the Gulf of Gonave. By 5 p.m. the hurricane had moved to the Windward Passage (50 miles wide between Cuba and Northwestern Haiti) and it was bearing down on Cuba. Hurricane force winds extended outward up to 60 miles from the center and tropical storm force winds extended outward up to 185 miles, affecting the entire country to some degree.

Hard-blowing wind and whipping rain pelted all in the path of Hurricane Matthew as the storm moved forward filling every low spot quickly and changing streams into swollen rivers. Rivers became huge bodies of fast moving muddy, debris-filled water, taking down everything in their paths. Hundreds of people (officials are still adding) lost their lives. Houses, gardens, church buildings, school buildings, and businesses were utterly destroyed. Thousands of livestock were drug to their deaths by the passage of the front wall of Hurricane Matthew and the "tail" of water that came behind it. For rural people, livestock are the Haitian equivalent to a bank account. Many lost all their horses, mules, donkeys, chickens, cows, sheep, goats, and hogs.

Many national pastors with whom Benji and I have contact have shared their heartbreaking stories. Brother Leny Funtecha (a Filipino missionary from Dr. Rick Martin's church in Iloilo, Philippines—a BIMI work) has more than a dozen churches that have been destroyed or damaged.

Thankfully, many responded within a day or two with food and humanitarian relief. However, now comes the hard task of rebuilding. The Hatians who have lost everything need a means in which to restore, to replace, and to rebuild. It will be a blessing to some families and churches that lost everything to have a means to come up out of the dark hole into which this catastrophe has plunged them.

Job's old wise friend Elihu was wrong about Job but right about the Lord and hurricanes. In Job 37: 9-13, the mighty power of God is proclaimed. Three reasons are given for such an event in verse 13 which states He causeth it to come, whether for correction, or for his land, or for mercy (emphasis added). This is a time for God's people to display God's MERCY to these dear people. Please pray and give as help is needed. If you wish to contribute to help these needy people in Haiti, please send your donations to BIMI marked Haitian Relief, Account #15.

Don & Bridgitt Dryden
Benji & Kerri Dryden

Photo by Tim Schandorff