Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery to assist Hurricane-damaged Haiti

Updated October 11, 2016

  • Texas Baptists Missionaries Ernie and Sharon Rice, currently serving in Haiti, are providing updates on needs in hardest hit areas - Grand-Goâve, Petit-Goâve and Jérémie.
  • At least 336 people have died since Hurricane Matthew struck on Oct. 4.
  • Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery has approved funds to assist with immediate needs following Hurricane Matthew.
  • Funds given to TBDR will be used to purchase food, water and cleaning supplies.

Hurricane Matthew has left behind widespread destruction across Haiti. At least 336 people have died since the Category 4 hurricane made landfall in Haiti last Tues., Oct. 4.

Ernie and Sharon Rice, Texas Baptists Missionaries living in Port au Prince, are reaching out to the western part of the peninsula of Haiti, delivering food, water filters and tarps. Rice has been to the areas of Grand-Goâve and Petit-Goâve, helping three pastors who have relationships with Texas Baptists. They are taking bags of rice, beans, water filtration bucket systems, bleach and laundry soap to help those in need.

Marla Bearden, Disaster Recovery Specialist, has been in touch with Pastor Joseph Garnel of the Philadelphia Baptist Church in Petit-Goâve. He reports that many families have lost homes and crops.

Rice and his team made the eight-hour trip to Jérémie on Oct. 10. He reported, “The hardness of the trip and the utter destruction has left us wrung out. It is really difficult to know what to do or what to ask for. It’s like trying to irrigate a desert with a tea spoon.”

Please continue to pray for Haiti and also for those trying to help. The death toll is rising as aid workers and authorities get into hard-hit regions where, not only communication and power were knocked out, but also most roads are impassable.

Please keep the Rice family and the people they are working with in your prayers as they travel. Continue to pray for our Haitian brothers and sisters. For more information, contact Marla Bearden at 214-537-7358 or visit texasbaptists.org/disaster.

Funds are needed. Click here to give to the ongoing work and recovery efforts online.  

Original story October 5, 2016

Hurricane Matthew made landfall near Les Anglais, Haiti on the morning of October 4, pummelling the western half of the island-nation with 145 mph winds and torrential rain. As damage reports come in, Texas Baptists are preparing to respond.

Texas Baptists Missionaries Ernie and Sharon Rice, serving in Port au Prince, sent a report on Tuesday morning indicating several churches were being used for hurricane shelter sites. Strong winds have knocked down coconut trees and torn roofs from houses. A need for food, blankets and water has already been expressed.

Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery has coordinated ongoing disaster recovery in Haiti for the past six years, since the 2010 earthquake there. TBDR funds have already been secured to send for immediate needs.

TBDR will continue to connect with missionaries on the ground to assess the long-term recovery needs resulting from this disaster. Click here to give to the ongoing work and recovery efforts. Checks can also be sent to Texas Baptists, Memo: Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery, 7557 Rambler Rd, Suite 1100, Dallas, TX 75231-2310.

For more information, contact Marla Bearden at or 214-537-7358 or Gerald Davis at or 214-924-6401.

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