(Photo courtesy AMG Haiti)
Haiti (MNN) ¯ Although Tropical Storm Isaac smacked Haiti with torrential rains and hurricane-force winds Saturday, it didn't do the widespread damage that was most feared.
Still, the rain added to the misery of the tent cities by causing flooding, mudslides, downed trees and power lines. In other areas, high winds shredded tents and caused the complete collapse of one small makeshift camp just outside of Port-au-Prince.
Storm-related accidents killed 24 people, although the government authorities evacuated 15,000 people. These people were sent to wait out the storm in government buildings, schools, and other temporary shelters.
In the aftermath, president of AMG International Paul Jenks says AMG Haiti sent an appeal for help. "The initial response is just to provide food and water. Then, as the trauma is assessed, there are other ways that we as Christians can come alongside and do: triage, and hopefully even some counseling that would bring hope--a sense of the Lord's presence to these people."
Damage assessments are just beginning. The aid workers on the ground have been through tragedy before and know the drill. There's the added danger of sanitation issues exacerbating water-borne diseases.
Cholera has already been an issue, so medicine is also critical to prevent another outbreak. The initial outbreak began in October 2010 and killed 7,000 in Haiti. Already contaminated water sources overflow with flooding and make contact with the food supply or cookware.
AMG International released funds so they could meet first-responders' needs. However, these were funds that they couldn't replace. The coffers are dry.
Jenks says the reason they provided the aid: "So many times when this type of things occurs--in Haiti especially, the infrastructure is fragile there in the best of times. So to be able to get things in sometimes is a prolonged process. We're still trying to get the information that we need and contact some of our partners that have helped us in the past and see how we can respond effectively."
Their partners have also been affected, and Jenks urges prayer for their team. "Many times, they themselves have been victims of these tragedies; family members and others have been affected, and so they have to make choices abput who to help first."
Help comes in many forms, too. Jenks says their team needs wisdom, resources, and opportunity. As it happened with the Asian tsunami, disaster is a turning point in many people's lives. "For young people, that trauma shapes much of their life. To have a second trauma just two years after, there's a great need to be filled."
The next step, Jenks says, is rebuilding. "Pastors and Christian workers who go and with the compassion of Christ are willing to just listen and to share the hope that we have in Christ: [this] is a huge resource."
Assistance will also be needed to help the people displaced by the storm to rebuild their homes. AMG Disaster Relief Fund will enable us to assist the people as they rebuild their lives. To partner with them, please click here.
Source: Mission Network News