Home Sweet Home after Hurricane Matthew

As Hurricane Matthew approached Haiti, the villages surrounding Grace Emmanuel School were expected to experience 85 mph winds and torrential rain. To say we were worried about the families of the students and staff is an understatement. We knew God had them in His sovereign hands, but the unknown was unnerving.

For some reason beyond our understanding, the expected path of the storm shifted west, giving our area much less wind and rain than predicted. After visiting many student and staff homes the day after the hurricane passed, we were relieved to find we had been spared from any significant damage.

While we were experiencing relief, however, one family connected to JiHM was still very anxious. About a week after the hurricane, I learned that the mother of one of our students, who also happens to be the wife of one of our staff members, had been in Jeremie, one of the heaviest hit areas in southern Haiti, when the hurricane swept through. She had not been heard from since.

My heart sank thinking of the possibility of them not ever hearing from her again.

A couple of days later, after an antagonizing wait, they learned that she was alive! She had made it home and was recovering.

Eager to see if she was okay and to hear her story, I paid her a visit the following week in their home.

During the hurricane, the house she was staying in was destroyed and fell on top of her. Thankfully, she said, it was not a cement home or she could have died. Instead, she didn’t suffer any major injuries.

She went for three days without any food until transportation routes re-opened and food could be supplied once again.

Betchina and her mom
Betchina and her mom

Her daughter Betchina shared that she had been scared that her mom had died. When I asked what she did when she saw her mom for the first time, she lit up and said, “I jumped on her!”

We all agreed “Bondye bon” (God is good).

We praise God that relief teams responded quickly and roads eventually became available for travel so that mothers like Betchina’s were able to return home safely.

As relief, recovery, and rebuilding continues, please keep the Haitian people in your prayers. Unfortunately, not every hurricane story ended with a happy reunion, and while we rejoice with those who rejoice, we also mourn with those who mourn.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Jamie

Jamie Curtis moved to Haiti in July 2014 to work as the liaison for Grace Emmanuel School. Over the last two years, she has visited the homes of over 200 students, sharing their stories to advocate for the needs of the school's most vulnerable students. Jamie has a degree in elementary education from IPFW (Fort Wayne, IN).