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Churches respond after hurricane claims lives, homes in Caribbean


Churches in the Caribbean and United States are sending relief after Hurricane Noel claimed lives and destroyed homes in countries including the Bahamas, Dominican Republic and Haiti.
In the village of Hinche, Haiti, a 15-year-old minister’s son was swept away by the floodwaters but was rescued and taken to a hospital, said Debbie Vanderbeek of Hope for Haiti’s Children, a Cincinnati-based ministry that provides health care, education and orphan care in Haiti.
Ken Bever, deacon for Haiti missions at the Northeast church in Cincinnati, said that the floods will add to the troubles of the impoverished nation.
“Thousands of Haitian children are going to have an even more difficult Christmas this year,” Bever said. Hope for Haiti’s Children is collecting funds to help with flood relief.
Noel caused extensive flooding on several Bahamian islands, said Stephen McQueen, minister for the Exuma church. In some communities, residents were trapped in their homes as “flood waters rose above midway of some front doors and over the top of some vehicles,” McQueen said.
Several church building suffered damage, and a church member on Long Island lost everything she had in the floods, said David Caskey, a missionary to the Bahamas. Churches in the Bahamas are taking up special contributions to help flood victims, Caskey said.
In parts of the Dominican Republic, residents climbed trees and waited on rooftops for rescuers as the floodwaters rose, said Lucrecio Mercado, minister for the Puerto Plata congregation. Church members planned to take food and clothes to people in need, Mercado said.

CONTRIBUTIONS FOR HAITI RELIEF may be sent to Haiti Flood Relief, c/o Hope for Haiti’s Children, P.O. Box 46463, Cincinnati, OH 45245-0463. For more information, visit the ministry’s Web site at www.hfhcministries.org.

Filed under: International

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