Methodists assist Haiti and Cuba after Sandy

The Methodist Church has sent £18,000 in aid to support communities recovering from Hurricane Sandy.

Grants will go to help communities in Cuba and Haiti, where Sandy left a trail of destruction last week.

In Haiti, 52 people were killed and nearly 3,000 homes were destroyed or damaged. Cuba has also suffered, with 180,000 houses damaged.

John and Sharon Harbottle, mission partners working in Haiti, said: “Travelling home from Jérémie, the capital city of the Grand'Anse department where we had been sheltering, we passed one devastated village after another.

"There was so much crop damage. Fields of maize lay flattened by the torrential rain, plantations of sugar cane resembled rice paddies, and whole banana trees were submerged by swollen rivers that had burst their banks.

"Families spread their belongings out to dry on every available bush, swept the mud that had washed through their homes and stood and stared at their lost crops.”

Bishop Pereira of the Methodist Church in Cuba also reported on the damage.

“Santiago de Cuba province reports that many houses have collapsed and the Wesley Church has been damaged too,” he said.

“Many churches have been destroyed. Communication is very difficult. Through cell phones we have received reports that the town Arroyo Blanco in North Holguin was devastated, including the church where the storm ripped the roof off the parsonage.

"The community in Alcala, also in Holguin, reported the same thing. We are asking for prayers. We are doing our best to reach the affected areas as soon as possible.”

A grant of £3,000 is also being made to assist the response of the United Methodist Church in the United States, where Sandy has killed more than 90 people.

David Friswell, leader of World Church Relationships, said: “We have heard a great deal about the terrible impact of Hurricane Sandy in the United States, but our greatest concern is for those communities in the Caribbean not seen on our TV screens.

"These places lack the resources to deal with such disasters which leave people without the basics of food and shelter.

"Working through partner churches these emergency funds will mean that help can be given where it is needed most.”

In Jamaica, the Reverend George Mulrain reported that there had been severe flooding.

“Kintyre, where we have a church, has been cut off completely,” he said. “The water in the river bed rose to the level of the road. Several roads are impassable due to trees that fell. In our area, like most of the country, we are without electricity.”

To donate to the Methodist Church's World Mission Fund, click here

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