ROBERTSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – Three hundred members of a Robertson County church are anxiously waiting and praying for the 56 children they sponsor in Haitian orphanage as Hurricane Matthew bears down on the Caribbean nation.
“They tell us it’s starting to rain there now,” said church member Vicki Shultz, who has made 10 trips in three years to Emmanuel Children’s Village..
The village is supported by the Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Cross Plains just north of Nashville.
“Where Emmanuel is, we are thankful that our new buildings are up on a hill and not in the low-lying areas,” Shultz said.
From the mission office at the church where the pictures of all of orphans hang on the walls, Shultz told News 2 the orphanage is in the Haitian town of Jeremie, which is on the coast about 150 miles east of the capital city of Port-au-Prince.
“It takes about eight hours to get there after you arrive at the capital,” said Shultz. “Through Facebook, I spoke with the pastor over the orphanage and he said, ‘Thank you for your prayers and they were OK.'”
They are okay for now, but the pastor said because of their location, the orphanage was making plans to bring in people from low-lying areas nearby once the heavy rains start.
“He did not say anything specific because they had not seen anything like this before,” added Shultz, who said it was 1935 the last time a hurricane of Matthew’s strength swept through the country.
In the meantime, Shultz and many of the other members of Mt. Carmel Baptist will be glued to television sets, the internet and phones for any word from Emmanuel Children’s Village in the coming hours of late Monday into Tuesday.
She spoke to the orphanage pastor late Sunday but worries the poverty-stricken Carribean country can’t imagine a force like Hurricane Matthew.
“He did not say anything specific because they have never seen anything like this before. So this news to them, they don’t know what to expect,” added Vicki from the church mission office where pictures of the orphans are on the walls.
she looks on a bright side and hopes they can help others since the orphanage is on higher ground above the Haitian town.
“The great thing is I am sure through the community that we will be able to bring more people in to the orphanage to keep them safe also,” Vicki said.
Being safe is what so many are praying for in Haiti, as well as the anxious church in rural Middle Tennessee.