Haiti Hurricane Appeal

Donate with JustGivingUrgent help needed to rebuild after Hurricane Matthew

Thanks to all who have donated to this urgent appeal. You can read the latest updates below


13 January 2017

Please pray for our friends in Haiti as they go through a difficult week.  That God will strengthen them and give them the courage to persevere in such trying times as they work together to rebuild lives and communities in Haiti.

16 November

An update and prayer from Sandra Lopez, Partnership Coordinator for the Americas and the Caribbean writes:

The situation remains very difficult but there is hope. One of the first things Bishop Gesner mentioned was not the actual situation and the many challenges the people are facing, but the fact that despite 90% of the trees in western Haiti being destroyed by Hurricane Matthew, the remaining trees are bearing green leaves, which means that they will soon bear fruit. This is an important sign of hope for the country, which will enter a food shortage crisis if crops are not replanted soon.

There is a huge expectation on the Methodist Church in Haiti (EMH) to do more than it is able to do for its churches and communities in the affected areas. The first priority for the Church was to buy food supplies with the funds donated by the Methodist Church in Britain (MCB) and transport them to Jérémie, Les Cayes and Léon in western Haiti.  More than half of the roads were damaged by the hurricane and many horses and donkeys were killed in the storm, so getting to the affected places has been very challenging. The money was spent on rice, beans, oil, maize, salt, sugar, flour, spaghetti and matches plus hiring trucks and security for transportation. In Haiti it is not uncommon for aid trucks to be looted. With this the church has been able to provide food for approximately 6,000 people.

With the help of MCB the church is planning a second trip to western Haiti with more food supplies, zinc, wood and nails to help rebuild some of the homes and schools affected. This second aid convoy will also provide seeds and fertiliser. This will help the church support the rebuilding of community life and allow children to possibly return to some of the Methodist schools by the end of November. Thirty-five Methodist schools in total were destroyed and twenty-nine need repair work. Many people took shelter in the schools that remained standing and continue to do so. However, there is a deep desire to return and start rebuilding their homes, so the Church will be supporting people in the three most affected circuits with some of the grant money. The sooner people can return home, the sooner the community can begin to plant seeds and work towards food security for their families.

The EMH is working with the Global Health Unit of the United Methodist Church's General Board of Global Ministries, and with the Catholic Medical Mission Board to help reconstruct the health clinics in western Haiti that were destroyed.

British Methodist Mission Partner, Dr John Harbottle has been heavily involved in supporting the EMH's health board's response to the disaster in terms of stock taking and supporting distribution of medicine. The Church is currently developing a response to the health issues caused by the disaster, particularly the need to fight cholera. It is looking to use the schools that remain standing in Jérémie to set up clinics to treat patients and fight the spread of disease. The Haitian government has called on international partners to support them with a million cholera vaccinations. However, given that this will only allow for someone to receive one vaccination, the fear is that this will not fully protect the people receiving them. Two vaccinations are needed for the vaccine to be effective. John has also been supporting the Church to inform and educate the people on how to purify water. In order to maximise the reach of this information, leaflets have been produced in Haitian Creole and distributed to the affected area.

Sandra Lopez, partnership coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean, will be visiting the Haiti between 29 November and 6 December. She will be visiting Jérémie to get a first-hand understanding of the situation and hear the stories of those affected by the hurricane as well as spending time with John and Sharon Harbottle. Please keep an eye out for a more detailed update in December following her visit.


Prayer for Haiti

Lord of all creation,

We lift before your throne of grace the people of Haiti, particularly those in western Haiti. We pray that you comfort the people who have lost so much, particularly those who lost loved ones during the hurricane.

We pray that you make a way for aid to arrive to those rural areas in this region which are now starving for want of food.

We pray that you give the Eglise Methodiste d'Haiti the strength and wisdom to help many more Haitians as they grapple to come to terms with their situation and seek ways to rebuild their lives.

We pray you enable all the health structures in this region to offer the health support so desperately needed to help prevent and treat cholera.

We pray that you make provision for seeds so that the community can begin replanting the lost crops and ensure food security in the next two or three months.

We pray that you would fill the Haitian people with hope for the future and for a peace that surpasses all understanding of the devastation they are facing. 

In Jesus' name,



21 October

A message from mission partners Sharon and John Harbottle, based in Haiti

The second convoy from the church is due to leave on Monday with food, tarps and supplies as well as medications, for another 2000 families. We have comprehensive lists of needs in different villages and the Special Relief Group is addressing the issues. Our youth have been fantastic packing family sized parcels and loading the vehicles. John is of course rushed off his feet sorting the medications for the clinics and mobile clinics and our ministers have been visiting bereaved families.

Friday and Saturday is another of our SALT training days for stewards - the ordinary everyday schedules continue  as well as the relief work going on, but in such courses there is also fellowship and solidarity in adversity and much thanks will be given in the worship.

Yours in Christ

Sharon and John


17 October

Read the latest from mission partners Sharon and John Harbottle, based in Haiti (Word doc)

Also see Famine Fears Rise in Haiti After Devastating Hurricane  (ABC News website)

8 October

A message from mission partners Sharon and John Harbottle, based in Haiti

News of the damage from Hurricane Matthew has reached you all by now and the pictures in the media we are all seeing are still the only real information available at this stage.  There continues to be no communication with our brothers and sisters in Jeremie and Leon in the far west, but there is some with Cayes on the south coast where virtually all metal sheet roofs were blown off, and there was substantial flooding with damage to both buildings and crops.

John went to Petit Goave today with Stephanie Dalton, who is visiting from 'All We Can', to meet with the Health Committees and Clinic staff there and saw some of the effects of the edges of the hurricane.

Travelling down into Port au Prince and on to Carrefour showed that most of the flooding has subsided and that there has been a major clearing of debris and rubbish from the streets.  Some trees had been blown over, but there was little damage to property away from the areas where flowing water impacted on structures and vegetation in its path, and ditches and culverts were now being cleared using mechanical equipment.

On leaving Carrefour to travel further west there were soon signs of wind damage to trees and the effects of flooding water again with mud and debris on the road, and vegetation lying flattened.  The severity of the damage increased as the vehicle got further from Port au Prince.  Electricity poles were blown over or broken leading to loss of power to many communities, banana trees broken and flattened, breadfruit trees shredded with all their fruit lost, mango and avocado trees uprooted or broken, papaya trees left as bare trunks with no leaves or fruit, and ground crops flattened, washed away or left in total disarray by the wind.

On reaching the broken bridge just before Petit Goave vehicles were queueing to cross the river bed, which was totally silted up almost to road level, in single file through what was merely a small stream of water by then, no longer a raging torrent which had swept away the bridge.  In Petit Goave itself, away from the river, there was mainly wind damage with many trees uprooted or broken over the road, but now cleared into 6ft high piles of branches every 20 yards along the roads, and occasional tree trunks which had been cut and sufficient removed to allow the vehicles to pass.

The clinic has survived relatively unscathed and staff were seeing and treating patients, but many homes with metal sheet roofs nearby have been damaged.  News from outside the town is scarce as there is no power, so mobile phones cannot be recharged, but it is clear there is extensive damage in the rural areas to property and crops.  Details of this will be more apparent over the next few days.

To put all this in perspective please remember that Petit Goave was merely at the edge of the central zone of the hurricane, which spread over all of the country west of Petit Goave.  The pictures in the media we are now seeing are just beginning to show the effects in those areas.

Now that the road is open the District Headquarters of the Methodist Church are planning to go to Cayes, Jeremie and Leon, to offer support to the ministers and congregations there, and to assess what urgent help is required both immediately and over the next few weeks, before the longer term recovery plan can be developed.

The training course for stewards by the Christian Education Department, scheduled for next weekend in Jeremie, at which Sharon was to be one of the facilitators, has been postponed at least until December.  It is hoped that it will be possible to continue with the other training sessions for stewards, and the final training course and examinations for local preachers in November, of which 150 are in Jeremie and Leon.

Please continue to hold the people of Haiti in prayer at this time.

Yours in Christ

Sharon and John Harbottle


6 October

A letter from Bishop Gesner Paul, the Superintendent Bishop of Haiti, MCCA



Hurricane Matthew hit the west coast of Haiti on Tuesday 5 October with devastating effect, leaving thousands displaced.

John and Sharon Harbottle (two Methodist mission partners based in Haiti) have managed to get a couple of emails through to us. They say:

Petrol roof blown offMany areas of Port-au-Prince however have suffered from extensive flooding, and the water pouring out of the mountains is likely to continue to increase for a day or two yet as it is still raining.  Roofs have been blown off many homes and many people are in refuge centres.  We understand that the authorities tried to clear people from the areas most at risk before the hurricane arrived, and everyone received text messages on their mobile phones giving guidance.

The situation further to the west, where the centre of the hurricane made landfall, a little to the west of Les Cayes, is much worse.  A few reports have been received from there indicating the town has had significant flooding, damage to buildings and trees are down.  We have not been able to make contact with folk in that area nor in the Jeremie area, and we have now heard that one of the bridges on the main road from Port au Prince to the west has been washed away so there is no road access to the worst hit parts of the southern peninsula. 

Please continue to pray for the country and especially those in the areas closer to the central track of the hurricane.

We will inform you further as information becomes available. 

Sharon and John


A fund is now open to support the Methodist Church in Haiti as it helps in rebuilding communities in the hurricane-affected areas.

Please give what you can to help the Church rebuild Haiti. Donations can be made online, or by cheque or bank transfer.

Online: Visit our Justgiving campaign page to donate.

Cheques: please make cheques payable to "The Methodist Church World Mission Fund" and clearly mark with "HTI002". Send cheques to: Mission and Advocacy, Methodist Church House, 25 Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5JR. Please include your name and contact details.

Gift Aid It logoPlease consider adding Gift Aid to your contribution to add an extra 25% to your donation.

Download Gift Aid forms

For bank transfers please email fundraising@methodistchurch.org.uk.

For any queries please contact Rosie or Syntiche in the World Church Relationships Team on 020 7467 5277 or 020 7467 5298.


A prayer for peace

Please join us in praying for Haiti and the communities affected by this devastating crisis.

Jesus, we see you calming storms-
storm tossed seas and stormy lives.
Extend your power and grace again,
especially upon these most recent storm victims.

Speak peace and healing over bodies and spirits broken by the chaos.
Jesus, speak peace. Silence

Speak peace and hope over families and communities devastated by sudden loss.
Jesus, speak peaceSilence

Speak peace and unity over diverse groups of people
so they would come together for greater provision,
just distribution, and effective rebuilding.
Jesus, speak peace. Silence

Speak peace and protection over rescue workers
as they reach out to those who are suffering.
Jesus, speak peace. Silence

You are the Prince of Peace.
You are the Resurrection and the Life.
You are strong to save.
Our hope and trust are in you. Amen.


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