Port Salut, Haiti | Libna Stevens/IAD
Five months after Hurricane Matthew devastated Haiti’s southern peninsula, the Seventh-day Adventist Church is still trying to cope with helping members restore their lives and rebuild dozens of churches.
Pastor Jean Mathieu Mitchel, executive secretary of the church in South Haiti, says thousands of church members were affected by the storm. Image by Libna Stevens/IAD
The hurricane caused mudslides, bridges and roads to collapse, destroyed homes and churches, and displaced thousands of people.
Nine church members died and some 70 churches were destroyed, local leaders in southern Haiti said. Five Adventist schools were also damaged and one school in Jérémie was completely destroyed.
“We have more than 3,000 church members who are still affected by the hurricane that hit us,” said Pastor Jean Mathieu Mitchel, executive secretary of the South Haiti Mission. “Thousands of our members lost their homes and many are living in tent-like settlements.”
Neighboring churches from the central, north, and northwest regions in Haiti have been sending clothes and food items to help fellow members in the south, he said.