Ministries | Agriculture | Earthquake 2021 | Food for Health | Goats 4 Haiti | Hope for Kidz | Homes for Haiti | Water for Health
Earthquake hits Southern Haiti
On August 14 at 8:27 a.m., a massive 7.2 earthquake hit southern Haiti. The epicenter was located in the middle of the mountain range near the town of L’Asile, very near to the Zanglais Ministry Center. It is the country’s strongest earthquake in 179 years since 1842 - stronger than the 2010 Port-au-Prince earthquake. The destruction is widespread across the entire southern peninsula. No village was spared. There are many landslides that prevented travel across the mountains and down the coast. Bridges are damaged and many are impassable. In Cayes and Jeremie many stores and businesses have been heavily damaged or destroyed. In general, the infrastructure that southern Haiti had is badly damaged and severely crippled.
Benjamin observed “It was the grace of God that it happened at the right time...people were up and out of their houses, schools were not in session and churches were not meeting”. Had it happened at another time or day, schools or churches would have been full, and the death toll would have been drastically higher. In the midst of the indescribable destruction, something to be thankful for.
Unfortunately, the aftershocks caused quite a bit of damage to the main building of the Zanglais Ministry Center. The damage is severe enough to render that building unsafe and unusable. This building houses the dorm rooms, the kitchen, and the eating area. The hotel rooms on the hill are in good shape and usable. A temporary, outside kitchen is being built so we can host groups. Aftershocks have also impacted the RMI Haiti office, resulting in cracks and causing the staff to fear working in the building. They have set up operations in the conference room, which is not damaged. People are traumatized and nerves are frayed. Many people are afraid to go inside concrete structures and they are sleeping in their yards or out in open areas.
RMI staff have been incredibly busy. They are sending out teams to visit as many of our C3 partner churches as they can get to, to assess each area. We know that every one of our partner churches have been affected. We have partnered with Mission of Hope to expand our impact and meet the needs of thousands in the southern peninsula.
God has uniquely prepared RMI for such a time as this. We have a good fleet of vehicles to move people and supplies. The water truck and earthmover are in much demand. Not too long ago, we installed a large gas tank. This will sustain us for a while. We have a large staff that can help as we partner with many NGOs.
The solar power system is working very well, providing electricity for the office, the internet, the conference room, and the garage. We were able to open the conference room to NGOs to use the internet and meet with their staff until it became apparent that we needed to use the room ourselves. We have already hosted and facilitated a DART (Disaster, Assistance, and Response Team) as they evaluated the level of destruction, the conditions, and needs of hospitals and clinics. We are making ourselves, staff, facilities, and equipment available to as many NGOs and groups as possible.
Our hearts are so broken for dear Haiti. The devastation is hard to wrap our minds around. RMI’s missionaries are anxious to return and get involved in the recovery efforts. Tessa, the Starkeys and the Nunemakers are all returning this month. The Tluceks are finishing their deputation and will return at the beginning of October.
Currently, we are not accepting teams until the fall. We know that many want to visit their Sister Churches, but we need time to get through this initial recovery phase before we would be ready to host a team. Your Sister Churches would love to have you visit, but with so much destruction they won’t have the facilities to care for you. We will be organizing specialty teams (construction, medical, etc.) in the future.
If you would like to help with RMI's Earthquake Care and Recovery Fund, click here. This fund will be used for food and other urgent needs as determined by our evaluation team.
If you want to give to your particular church, click here and go to the line titled "My Sister Church", list your gift and the name of your church.
We will be posting updates as we receive them. Our most up-to-date information can be found on our Facebook page.
First day re-cap video from Dan Shoemaker's visit to Haiti.
Second day re-cap video from Dan Shoemaker's visit to Haiti.
Third day re-cap video from Dan Shoemaker's visit to Haiti.