NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Church and mission groups across Middle Tennessee with outreach programs in Haiti anxiously await any word from their people on the ground as Hurricane Matthew batters the country.
Some of the groups, such as Agape to the Nations which is based in Gallatin, have received videos and pictures showing the driving rain and wind at places like Les Caye, Haiti which is on the western peninsula of the Caribbean country.
The Gallatin religious group supports what it calls “transition homes” for teens in Les Caye.
Agape to the Nations Facebook page is keeping its supporters up to date with words from those on the ground.
A post from this Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. reads:
Our teens are safe. The boys house bottom floor is flooding so all the teens were moved upstairs.The girls house has lost every tree in the yard. Luckily they fell on the fence and wall. Spoke to James our missionary assistant and he said his house is completely broken. Please keep praying.”
The founder of the group hung on every image and word in spotty communication from the leader of the orphan transition homes her group supports in Les Cayes.
“He called me at six this morning when that video was sent,” said Agape founder Kinsley Smith from her office in Gallatin. “He said ‘it is just terrible, the rains and the winds just have not stopped,’ and then he asked me ‘when is it going to stop’ because they have no way of knowing.”
Two thousand miles away from the destruction, at that very moment, Kinsley tried to comfort the Haitian who runs her group’s three homes.
“I told him its supposed to rain for 48 hours and he just cried out to the lord and said, ‘Lord, please save us. This is the worst thing I have ever seen.'”
Pictures of the Haitian youngsters the Middle Tennessee group is trying to help are held close as she hears the spotty words in the middle of a hurricane.
“He said that our boys home, the bottom floor is flooded, so he moved all the kids to the second level,” added Kinsley.
The midday reports from Les Caye became even more heartbreaking.
“I talked to our missionary assistant about an hour ago and they have no help. Nothing,” added Kinsley. “We are all in prayer.”
Other mission efforts led by Middle Tennesseans are just as fearful and prayerful about Haiti.
Midday at Mt. Carmel Baptist 20 miles away in Cross Plains, they are faithful to call for prayer about words on a sign outside the church.
“Because we know the lord, there is a power greater than any storm,” said Kenny Swann during a noontime prayer service.
Pictures of the 56 children the church members support at a Haitian orphanage are in front of them.
“We just pray that the hurricane just fizzles and goes away,” said Donna Henry, who along with her husband Phil support one of the orphans in the town of Haitian town of Jeremie
The couple clutch the picture of the Haitian teen they support.
“They prayer for us three times a day,” said Donna. “But we are very concerned for them, very concerned.”
Late Tuesday afternoon, the church had last heard from its people at the Haitian orphanage since early Tuesday morning.
The Robertson county church members know that is not the best news, but they hope their prayers bring the 56-kids the support–and all those around them– through the terrible storm.