The recent floods in the Dominican Republic and Haiti were among the worst natural disasters in the history of the Caribbean, leaving over 75,000 people displaced and at least 3,300 dead. Despite the devastating situation, Christian Aid groups have reported good news from the field, of victims regaining their health and Christians restoring their hope in God.
Donny Barger, a Southern Baptist missionary and a leader of a humanitarian aid team said the victims in a ravaged town saw “God’s hand at work” in their small town.
"In the southern border city of Jimani, about half the town was washed away. Where there once were neighborhoods, now there are just mounds of sand," Barger said in a report to the Southern Baptist newsletter Baptist Press. "The latest estimate is that more than 1,000 people were killed. I have yet to speak to anyone here who has not lost family members."
Following the flood, Barger and his missionary colleagues Adam Hammond and Fernando Abella responded by giving $5,000 worth of clothing, food and blankets to the victims, provided by Southern Baptist hunger and relief funds.
Through these funds and through the help of the governor’s office who allowed the team to connect a water purification system to the bank’s well, the village had purified water to drink.
"Here we are in an unknown community with no contacts, and God provided everything we needed and more," Barger said. "He did this at just the right time. What a mighty God we serve!"
Barger’s wife, Jennifer, said prayer was continually needed from the faithful to aid the victims of the flood.
"Prayer is fundamental to anything we do here," she said. "Please remember the children who have lost their parents in this flood. Pray that doors will be opened for the Gospel through our efforts with the people of the southwest Dominican Republic. Pray that God will be glorified."
Meanwhile, the Church World Service reported on June 10, that it successfully sent an emergency system of medicines, blankets and health kits for the flood’s survivors. The shipment is expected to help nearly 22,000 individuals.
The Church World Service is a collaborative effort from dozens of mainline churches and church groups across the U.S. to support the CWS or to make a credit card contribution, please visit the Church World Service Website at www.churchworldservice.org.