After the Shock: Haiti Earthquake

On Saturday, August 14, the world awoke to the devastating news of an earthquake hitting the southern coast of Haiti. The next day, Samaritan’s Purse airlifted disaster response specialists and critical relief supplies to provide help to families in urgent need. Kristy talks with team members and beneficiaries on the ground to hear the latest updates.

– Read “Samaritan’s Purse On the Ground in Haiti After Powerful Earthquake Rocks Southern Cities,” to learn more about how the ministry is bringing hope to Haiti during a time of crisis, and how you can get involved.

– Follow us on Instagram to see the Samaritan’s Purse response team bring help to hurting people in Haiti.

– Go back and listen to our episode called, “In the News – Haiti Earthquake,” to hear how Samaritan’s Purse was able to respond at a moment’s notice to the earthquake in Haiti.

Show Notes

Thank you for joining us in another episode of On the Ground with Samaritan’s Purse, hosted by Kristy Graham. On August 14, Haiti experienced a 7.2 magnitude earthquake—compounding more devastation to the already hurting country. In the weeks prior, Haiti was experiencing extreme turmoil with their president’s assassination and rising gang activity. In the hours after the earthquake, Samaritan’s Purse sent a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) along with 31 tons of relief supplies to provide immediate help. In this episode, Kristy connects with several DART members who are currently on the ground helping in Jesus’ Name.

First, Kristy speaks with Nick Bechert, the Disaster Response Team Lead in Haiti, who recalls the devastation he saw immediately after entering the country. He describes homes flattened, walls caved-in, crumpled buildings, and a desperate need for shelter among thousands of families.

“You’re walking into an environment where everyone was desperate because of these challenges before the earthquake and now they’re without shelter, and they have loved ones injured. People here are traumatized by destruction,” Bechert told Kristy.

Nick describes the action steps that Samaritan’s Purse is taking in order to bring hope in the midst of this heartbreaking disaster. Within days of the earthquake, the disaster response specialists constructed a 36-bed Emergency Field Hospital in Les Cayes, Haiti. Here, the Samaritan’s Purse medical team is able to treat intense wounds and perform life-saving surgeries.

One of our podcast correspondents heard from Melanie Wubs, the medical director of the Emergency Field Hospital in Les Cayes, Haiti, as she speaks of the urgency she felt while setting up the field hospital. After seeing the overwhelming devastation, the team worked into the night to be able to open the hospital’s doors as soon as possible, all while ensuring each precaution was taken to be adequately prepared.

“My hope for the patients that come here is that they know they’re not forgotten,” Melanie shared. “That somebody cared. That God cares enough to come here. To provide care, to show them love, and give them hope.”

Robert Congdon, DART distribution manager in Haiti, has also had a crucial role during this crisis. With a lack of shelter for many, he and his team are distributing heavy-duty tarp to thousands of families who are sleeping in the streets. Supplying these tarps provides a place for families to take shelter as ongoing tropical storms and tremors from the recent earthquake continue to surface.

Samaritan’s Purse is additionally providing clean water by installing two community water filtration systems. Each one is large enough to supply clean water for a community of 10,000 people. For the first time, the Samaritan’s Purse WASH team deployed their specially-designed filtration system—making it quicker and easier to provide clean water in these urgent situations. The village buzzed with hope and excitement as the systems were installed.

Kristy reminds listeners that although Haiti is facing disaster after disaster, we are continually lifting them up in prayer. As the episode wraps, she shares that even in unthinkable circumstances, we know this world is not our home and we are to fix our eyes on Jesus.

Romans 12:12 says, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in affliction, be persistent in prayer.”

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