Published 12:25 am Friday, October 7, 2016

Local finds love for Haitians on mission trip; to help with food in wake of  Matthew

When Alexandra Hart went to Haiti earlier this year, she might have left a piece of her heart there. When she received news of Hurricane Matthew’s imminent threat, Hart said she was both concerned and anxious.

1007-alexandra-hart2“When I first found out about the hurricane, I was concerned and as it got bigger, they kept increasing the category ranking, I got anxious about it because the people of Haiti have infinitely less than we have in America,” she said. “They live in what we would consider shacks or sheds. Essentially huts as houses. The loss of that is a loss of everything.”

On Tuesday, the hurricane made landfall in Haiti as a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 145 mph.

The Weather Channel reported Thursday afternoon that the death toll in Haiti is 283, bringing the total to 289 for the entire hurricane, as it makes its way toward Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.

Hart said she really got to know her interpreter, Jenny, and she still keeps in contact with her.

“She lives in Montrouis, Haiti, which is where I stayed while on my mission trip,” she said.

While there, Hart had the opportunity to leave her mark on the community.

“We went into the community there and distributed water filters while I was there,” she said. “Thankfully, Jenny says, Montrouis, Haiti, was spared and didn’t experience much damage. However, Lubin is a village we also traveled two hours to in the very rural part of Haiti.”

Hart described Lubin as one of the poorest Haitian communities.

“Hurricane Matthew has affected their lives tremendously,” she said. “Five families lost their houses.”

Hart said the community will help these families rebuild their homes instead of needing help from here.

“The rains caused the river that runs through the village to flood,” she said. “The rains flooded their crops, taking their food sources and livelihoods with it. I cannot shake the faces of children I played with and adults I spoke to and the idea some of them are possibly without a home right now.”

Hart said the Haitians were hospitable and now need food.

“All of these people that welcomed me into their village and taught me pieces of French-Creole are in desperate need of food,” she said. “The biggest concern is getting them the food they need. Filter of Hope, the organization I went with, was able to send food into Lubin yesterday and are now waiting to see how quickly the water will move out.”

Hart said Filter of Hope is doing several things to help with the aftermath of Matthew.

“First, we are helping people in and around Lubin, through Pastor Bo, with food until they can get back on their feet to get their fields in order,” she said. “We are also working with partners in Southern Haiti to get filters in the hands of people who don’t have them. Anyone that is looking to help can be directed to donate through our website, filterofhope.org.”

Hart said there is a “give” tab that you can follow and people should designate “Haiti Relief” in the box that says, “on behalf of” and another option would be to give cash or checks.”

Make checks payable to Filter of Hope, with the memo line: Haiti Relief.

These donations may be delivered to the Crow’s Nest in Andalusia.

“I can get them to Filter of Hope from there,” she said. “It seems for now this will be the easiest way for us to support our partners from here rather than going ourselves. Those that aren’t interested in giving monetarily can pray for these precious people. They are some of the most welcoming people you will ever meet, and they were created in the image of God. They are chosen and precious to Him. Please pray for them as they transition from this storm.”