A week ago, my family evacuated for Hurricane Matthew. Ridden with anxiety, we boarded up our windows, secured the planters and lawn furniture and prayed over our home, barn, chickens and property. Then we loaded up our dogs and children and drove 4 hours inland to “safety”. As we drove, we talked and prayed for everyone else affected by Hurricane Matthew. The storm had just torn through Haiti, was currently in Cuba and was bearing down on the Bahamas. We were praying for all those in its path and our hearts were broken for those who couldn’t just evacuate like we could. As hard as it was to leave our home, not knowing what we might come back to, it was just as hard knowing that there were brothers and sisters in the south who couldn’t even leave their homes for safety. The next few days were excruciating as we prayed every waking moment for those being affected at that moment by the hurricane. I tried to stay in the word instead of glued to The Weather Channel. Psalm 29 was my mantra…”The voice of the Lord is over the waters, the God of glory thunders, the Lord thunders over the mighty waters…The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord is enthroned as King forever. The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.”
Finally, we were cleared to go home on Monday and thankfully, our home was spared. As we have been cleaning up the trees that we lost and all the debris, I can’t help but think about all those who lost more than we did. I am more than grateful. My prayers were answered. But there are many who lost their lives. There are many who lost their homes and who will take months or years to recover. There are many whose lives will never be the same. I do not take this lightly. It has taken me days to process and I’m still processing this. We will clean up and move on but we will also help our neighbor. We will shop locally to help the small businesses who lost a week of income. We will help our brothers and sisters south of us who were affected by this storm also. We will "shop local" to help them too. Relief effort is one thing but long term, they need sustainable support of their local economy. This, we can do. We have friends and partners in Haiti who were directly impacted by Hurricane Matthew. We can help them. Here are several reputable organizations doing work in Haiti.
Outside of this, we can BUY HAITIAN! Haiti actually does have a lot to offer the world. Mangoes and artisan goods to name a few. You can buy artisan goods here. Support Haiti. Help them get back on their feet. And pray for all those affected by Hurricane Matthew!