Surviving the Storm in the Night

When Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti last year, you sprang into action to help. The Childcare Worldwide family helped build or repair 90 different homes and provided emergency food for 640 families! Almost a year later, we had a chance to catch up with some of the people you helped. Here’s how your gifts made a difference.

Little Shedna with her Uncle Evans in a field near their house.

Little Shedna is seven years old. She lives with her Uncle Evans because she has no one else. Evans is 23, and is trying to save money to finish his education. There are very few jobs available in Haiti, and with no degree, it’s almost impossible for Evans to find work. They have a distant relative who lives in the U.S. and sends them money occasionally – and that’s the majority of their income. In between, every day is a struggle to survive.

October 3rd, 2016 was a day like any other. Evans first heard about the coming storm on the radio. But he didn’t think anything of it – the reports said it wouldn’t be that bad. The forecast couldn’t have been more wrong. In the middle of the night, Hurricane Matthew made landfall in Haiti as a strong category 4 Hurricane. Both Evans and Shedna woke in terror as the winds tore through their village and the rains lashed their little house. Evans kept glancing out the window, watching the trees bending in the wind.

Around 1am on October 4th, Evans realized their house couldn’t withstand the wind. Making a quick decision, he threw Shedna on his back and started running.

Evans and Shedna demonstrate how they fled from the storm.

Outside was chaos. They saw roofs ripped off houses. The roads were already turning into rivers. Trees were coming down. Evans says, “There was a big diesel truck and we saw it slide down the road and land in a ditch. I was very afraid. When I saw that, I thought ‘this is my last day!’”

Shedna was even more terrified. “When I saw the water I was very afraid,” she says. “I can’t swim! My uncle put me on his back. I just told myself, ‘hang onto him! Don’t let go!’”

Thankfully, they made it safely to higher ground. After a harrowing night outside, the winds finally died down. They slowly made their way back to their house, and surveyed the damage in shock.

Evans and Shedna pose outside their new pink house.

Everything was gone. The flood waters had swept their few possessions away. The house itself was still standing, but barely. The water had risen half way up the walls and the whole thing looked ready to collapse. There were big cracks in the walls and gaping holes in the roof.

So when building materials arrived from Childcare Worldwide to help them build a new house, both Evans and Shedna were so relieved! They found even more hope with their local church told them they could help too! Soon, Evans had everything he needed to build a brand new home. And this one has strong walls and a solid concrete foundation! The next hurricane will have a hard time breaking this one!

Shedna’s contribution to the house project was the color choice. She (of course!) chose her favorite color: pink!

With help from people like you, Shedna and Evans are recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Matthew.

Today, Evans is still trying to work his way through school, and struggling to provide for his niece. But a solid roof over their heads is one less thing to worry about! Evans says that what they went through brought him closer to the Lord. Between their safety the night of the storm, and the way your gifts provided for them after the hurricane, it is clear to him that God is at work in their lives!

Thank you for helping Evans and Shedna, and hundreds of other families like them, survive the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.

Please continue to pray for all those affected by hurricanes – those battling this year’s recent storms as well as those in long-term recovery from previous storms!

Childcare Worldwide is grateful to partner with generous people all over the world to build a better life for kids in need. To help people like Evans and Shedna survive the next natural disaster, click here.

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