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In the Eye of the Storm

Hurricane Matthew wreaks havoc in the Caribbean.

Updated: For the most up-to-date information about Hurricane Matthew and relief efforts, visit the AG USA and AGWM Facebook accounts.

Early in the morning of Tuesday, October 4, Hurricane Matthew struck the impoverished Caribbean nation of Haiti with 140+ mile-per-hour winds. This is the strongest tropical storm to strike the Caribbean in almost a decade and threatens to devastate Haiti’s infamously fragile infrastructure.

Tens of thousands of Haitians still live in tent camps formed after the massive earthquake. The 2010 earthquake killed 316,000, with the ensuing cholera epidemic killing thousands more. Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere and one of the world’s most deforested countries. The region has little defense against this monster storm.

Continuing a partnership established during numerous major disasters, AG World Missions and Convoy of Hope are preparing to minister to the suffering. Haiti’s 225 Assemblies of God churches and 60,000 congregants will also be heavily involved in ministering to their communities.

Because of Convoy of Hope’s on-going feeding program, hundreds of thousands of meals are already on hand in Convoy’s warehouse in Haiti.

Convoy of Hope founder Hal Donaldson stated, "Together with AG World Missions and churches in Haiti, Convoy personnel are committed to doing all we can to help meet the desperate needs of those in Haiti who are suffering from this horrific storm."

AGWM missionaries James and Rachael Courter, who run “Arise, Haiti” ministry in the town of Cayes, report: “We are asking the Lord to intervene in a situation that looks as though it could bring much destruction to Haiti. We are getting reports of multiple trees fallen on homes in Gelee. We were able to assist a large portion of Sous Roche evacuate and relocate to a school on the shoreline. However, some in Sous Roche and most in Gelee chose to stay.” 

The government scrambled to evacuate Cité Soleil (City of the Sun)—a slum populated by hundreds of thousands and known as one of the west’s most dangerous slums—but couldn’t figure out a place for residents to go. AGWM missionary Bridgett Connors is seeking to partner with Haitian AG leadership and pastors to open churches in safe areas for residents to shelter in. 

Richard and Kelly Green, AGWM missionary associates and Builders International team reconstruction supervisors, have served in Haiti since the 2010 quake. From their Port au Prince home, they watched as Hurricane Matthew approached.

“It was an eerie feeling, pitch black,” Richard wrote. “A man from down the street asked if we could help him shelter his family when the storm hit.”

The Greens opened their home to all their neighbors, cooking spaghetti for their entire area the night before Matthew hit.

Dale Coad, AGWM Caribbean area director, requests ongoing prayer for all personnel serving in Haiti and also other endangered nations such as Jamaica, the Bahamas and Cuba, where the storm is heading next. 

Make a difference today by giving directly to the Hurricane Matthew relief effort here.


Kristel Zelaya

Kristel Zelaya is a freelance writer and editor with global experience. She served as marketing manager for Assemblies of God U.S. Missions and as a writer and editor for Assemblies of God World Missions. These experiences have led her to numerous countries and cultures — far from beaten paths — on behalf of many who did not know how deeply their stories matter. Zelaya is also a licensed Assemblies of God minister.