A 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit Haiti on Saturday morning, causing widespread destruction in an area still recovering from Hurricane Matthew in 2016. Nearly 1300 people have died, a number that will likely rise. At the same time, Tropical Depression Grace is dumping rain on the country, bringing fears of landslides or contaminated drinking water.
The country was already facing a double crisis caused by unrest and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Church of the Nazarene has four districts in the area near the epicenter, two of which are known to have sustained significant damage and one that has not been able to make a report yet. At least four churches were destroyed in a southern district, and one pastor has lost his house. One district superintendent says that the quake killed one church member, and the areas of Les Cayes, Leprete, Pestel, and Jeremie were hit especially hard.
Many people near the epicenter are sleeping outside out of fear of the frequent aftershocks or because their homes were destroyed. One Nazarene district is reporting a great need for shelter, and if the churches are safe, the district superintendent hopes to open them as shelter space for the community.
Nazarene Compassionate Ministries, local Nazarene churches, and partner organizations are preparing to mobilize as soon as the initial assessment of need is clearer.
Dhariana Balbuena, Nazarene Compassionate Ministries coordinator in Mesoamerica, is calling the church to help in the following ways:
- Praying for those who have lost loved ones, for those who are injured, for those who have lost their homes and belongs, that the aftershocks end and for help to arrive at the right moment.
- Giving: by raising a special offering in your congregation on Sunday, Aug. 29, and Sunday, Sept. 5, 2021.
You can also donate directly online using the following link: Global Relief – Haiti Earthquake 2021
Donations will be used for immediate needs, including shelter, drinking water, food and medical supplies as well as for long term needs.
- Sharing this information.
Offerings collected in churches should be sent by the district to the field office. The full amount will be passed to the regional office to be used for its intended purpose
Stay informed through the regional webpage at www.mesoamericaregion.org.
To send donations in the United States and Canada here