by Megan Wohlers, correspondent
On Tuesday, Oct. 4, Category 4 Hurricane Matthew swept through Haiti. According to native Haitian Luckson Capricien, a junior church planting major, “It is one of the strongest storms that has hit Haiti in the last half-century.” The south and northwest regions of Haiti were hit the hardest. Over one thousand people died, homes and farms were demolished and livestock were killed.
The devastation also affected Capricien’s ministry, FAIRE Garden, which partners with Children’s Relief International to run a Bible club with the children of Croix-des-Bouquets. Now, over thirty of these children are living in tents with neighbors or even strangers. Their homes have been destroyed; many have been flooded or are missing roofs or walls. Many of the children have medical needs, with such afflictions as cholera, fevers, dehydration and coughs.
This tragedy has personally affected Capricien in many ways. “Our ministry was affected because the people we serve were affected, and they are our ministry,” he said. Aside from this, his father’s house, where 26 people whose homes had already been destroyed were taking refuge, was hit by a falling tree during the second day of the storm. Thankfully, no one was injured, but the roof was destroyed.
Additionally, Capricien’s aunt broke her back when her house collapsed on her during the second day of the storm. She stayed there overnight with her five-year-old daughter until she was found stuck beneath the house. Her daughter sustained a blow to the head.
The storm finally began to abate on Friday afternoon, leaving behind a trail of destruction. FAIRE Garden stepped in, locating their children and working to reunite them with their families. Of the children the ministry serves, 35 are unable to continue schooling because they do not have the supplies. Fifteen of the children have sustained injuries that could lead to disabilities.
The student body can assist with this tragedy by praying that God will use Capricien’s family and their ministry to reach the people afflicted by the storm, and that they would receive the finances needed to assist them in their ministry. Capricien is also organizing a trip to Haiti during Christmas break. One of the biggest needs is in regards to construction; Capricien said that with $5,000, FAIRE Garden can build a two-bedroom house for a family, which will help them get back on their feet.
Capricien said he also needs people with photography, media and writing skills to help tell these people’s stories. Financial assistance and church recruitments are also necessary contributions. For further information, Capricien can be contacted at 407-683-0097.