Photo essay: Devastation of Hurricane Matthew from the Caribbean to the Carolinas

Many homes on Haiti’s southern peninsula are without roofs while others are in shambles in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. LCMS Disaster Response is working to provide tin roofs for some 50 area pastors and possibly 50 churches without roofs in Haiti.

Many homes on Haiti’s southern peninsula are without roofs while others are in shambles in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. LCMS Disaster Response is working to provide tin roofs for some 50 area pastors and possibly 50 churches without roofs in Haiti.

Story by Roger Drinnon

Photos by Erik M. Lunsford

… Christ is here in the midst of suffering, walking with those who are suffering, weeping with those who are weeping …”

Less than seven years after a magnitude-7.0 earthquake devastated Haiti, the Caribbean country again finds itself reeling from calamity. This time, Haiti was ravaged by Hurricane Matthew, which fell on the Tiburon Peninsula in southern Haiti Oct. 4.

In the wake of Matthew’s fury, many dwellings left standing in Haiti remain exposed to the elements, as the Category-4 hurricane ripped roofs off while leaving other homes in shambles with its fierce winds of up 140 miles per hour.

To make matters worse, an outbreak of cholera has complicated recovery efforts there, with people struggling to find water. What they do find comes from shallow water sources most likely contaminated by the hurricane.

Days after the hurricane, LCMS Disaster Response Director Rev. Ross Johnson traveled to Haiti to see the aftermath firsthand.

Synod leaders look to provide additional aid to Haitian victims, including pastors and members of the LCMS partner church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Haiti, in the form of wells for clean water and also tin roofs.

As the hurricane continued along the southeastern coastline of the U.S., it eventually fell upon the Carolinas, bringing down large trees, flooding entire communities, leaving many without electricity and making major roadways inaccessible.

LCMS Disaster Response Manager Rev. Michael Meyer visited some of the hardest-hit areas in the Carolinas alongside LCMS Southeastern District leaders and disaster responders to determine ways to best deliver Christ’s mercy as communities heal and rebuild.

“In the midst of such terrible destruction, the Church has the opportunity to be Christ’s hands and feet, responding to the needs of the suffering,” said Meyer. “At the same time, the Church is making the bold confession that Christ is here in the midst of suffering, walking with those who are suffering, weeping with those who are weeping, through the various vocations of the Church and her members.”

Roger Drinnon (roger.drinnon@lcms.org) is director of Editorial Services and Media Relations for LCMS Communications.

Erik M. Lunsford (erik.lunsford@lcms.org) is managing photojournalist for LCMS Communications.

Posted November 1, 2016

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