On August 14, 2021, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake shook the lower peninsula of Haiti, affecting an area with more than 1.5 million residents. In addition to destroying thousands of physical structures and destabilizing the infrastructure of three provinces, the quake directly impacted more than 800,000 people—340,000 of whom were children—and left 650,000 Haitians in need of emergency relief. More than 2,200 people were killed and close to 13,000 were injured.
With your help, Nazarene Compassionate Ministries was able to partner with leaders of Nazarene districts and churches in Haiti to organize a well-orchestrated distribution of relief. Nazarene leaders and volunteers from two districts in Haiti—the Grand’Anse and South districts—drew from recent experience organizing a 2016 hurricane response to mobilize compassionate relief following the 2021 earthquake. Each district created a plan for assembling food kits and established distribution sites for getting essential items to impacted people.
Partnership with groups like Mission Aviation Fellowship and Missionary Flights International enabled the delivery of thousands of tarps that provided cover for damaged roofs or quick shelter for those who lost their homes. Church volunteers assembled 7,248 food kits for families in need, providing enough meals to feed 44,874 people.
The Madame-Juliene Church of the Nazarene in Les Cayes was one of 15 Nazarene churches destroyed in the earthquake. The loss of their building left all 77 families who belong to the church with no structure for gathering; many members also suffered significant losses at home. Due to heavy damage to the community, Les Cayes served as one of the sites for assembling and distributing food kits. Fortunately, church leaders have built strong relationships in the community and, as a result, local store owners allowed relief workers to use their stores as distribution sites.
Many people in the community experienced the love of God through the relief program carried out in Les Cayes. The following testimonies come from the Madame-Juliene church.
"My name is Pastor Louis. I am the church’s pastor of the Nazarene church of Madame-Julien. First of all, I [thank] God who, after the disaster of August 14, 2021, used the leaders of the Nazarene church to send us food supplies and tarps [for] distribution, which was a great success. As a result of the distribution, we have had four people who have given their lives to Jesus as they witnessed love inside the church."
"My name is Sister Manel. I really thank God that I have become a Christian at the Nazarene church of Madame-Julien. I am [thankful for] the Nazarene church leaders who sent us a great help after the disaster of August, 2021, where we ... lost everything and we did not have the means to overcome the situation. We thank God, as he had put in the church leaders’ hearts to assist us in a context where all families were crying out for help with no hope. The food supplies and tarps were really welcomed. We were able to share with our extended families and the pastor shared some with other people out of the church. So, everyone in the community was touched by the distribution."
Thank you for your sacrificial giving to provide relief to the people of Haiti. The Church of the Nazarene in Haiti will continue to provide care during the rebuilding and recovery process, and extend compassion and hope in the name of Jesus.