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Hurricane Matthew in Haiti and Cuba

. 2 min read
The death toll in Haiti is more than 400 people and 95 percent of the homes on the southern side of the country are damaged or destroyed. Beverly Mitchell, a teacher at Wesley Theological Seminary, was in Haiti teaching as part of Wesley’s Central/South American Council.
United Methodists from around the globe have a long and committed relationship with Haiti. Thousands of United Methodist volunteers have stayed at the Methodist Guest House, using it as a base for sending out mission teams.

Brulan Jean-Miichel, manager of the guest house, said Hurricane Matthew has added a new layer of despair to the country still recovering from the 2010 earthquake.
“The eye of the hurricane went directly over Jeremie and the surrounding cities. There is significant flooding, landslides, trees down, roads destroyed and 95 percent of the houses have lost their roofs,” he said in an email. “So the damage is extensive, according to reports from people who have flown over these areas. There is no phone communication and a major bridge in Petit-Goave has been washed away cutting the whole southern peninsula off from Port-au-Prince.”
Lauren James, United Methodist Committee on Relief Haiti church liaison, said UMCOR and the Eglise Méthodiste D’Haiti, the Methodist Church in Haiti, are assessing damage and will report soon on best ways to help.
“For now, anyone wanting to support Hurricane Matthew relief efforts in Haiti can donate to International Disaster Response Advance #982540. These funds will be available to support Haiti once we can coordinate the response,” James said.
… The hardest hit area of Cuba was Baracoa, one of the most ancient cities in Cuba. It slammed by 24-foot waves according to news reports.
Methodist Bishop Ricardo Pereira Diaz and some local pastors were among the first to arrive in  Baracoa on Oct. 6 to bring emergency supplies, according to the Facebook page for Iglesia Metodista En Cuba.
The churches of Guantanamo reported huge material losses but all the people escaped injury.
Grace Church in Cape Coral, Florida, reported good news as well on its Facebook page.
“We received good news yesterday from our mission partner in eastern Cuba, Pastor Biosleidis Rodriguez, who reported that he and his congregation took shelter in their church building, and no one was injured by the storm,” said a church member.
Read the rest of the story by Kathy L. Gilbert and Sam Hodges
Oct. 7, 2016 | UMNS