Hurricane Matthew, Haiti, My Family, and Me

Photo: Raycom Media

Photo: Raycom Media

I kept the TV on and my phone close last Friday. Hurricane Matthew was moving up the Florida coast and aiming at Savannah, Georgia, where my oldest daughter, her husband, and their three young children live.

They’ve been in their house—their very first house—less than a year. With tall oaks all around—the type with wide but shallow roots—and a river just streets away.

One tree fell when Hermine visited in September. Aware of the danger, they had already moved in with friends in another town.

For Matthew, Savannah and Chatham County evacuated.

On Thursday, my daughter and her husband tied down the trampoline in the backyard. They rolled up rugs and got as much furniture as they could off the floors and the flat TV off the wall. Then they packed food and clothes, locked the doors, and drove away, and moved in with their friends again.

Matthew kept coming. Warnings got louder. No one felt safe, and with their friends my daughter and her husband decided to move further inland on Friday. God provided a place three hours outside Savannah, where everyone arrived late Friday afternoon.

They would be OK. But the house? Their friends’ house? No one knew.

I went to bed Friday night at 11:30 and set an alarm for 1:30 a.m. High tide and Hurricane Matthew would hit Savannah at the same time, around 2. The Weather Channel kept me company as I waited.

It was bad. Everyone knew it would be. But how bad? That would have to wait until morning.

A neighbor who didn’t evacuate sent word to my daughter: No flooding on their street! Then, pictures. A giant water oak had smashed the trampoline and missed the house by inches. Later in the day, video. Savannah was battered and shaken, but still a beautiful city.

Glad and grateful our family was OK and their house hadn’t flooded, I still felt uneasy. And I knew why.



Photo: Mission Aviation Fellowship


Photo: Global Empowerment Mission

Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti earlier in the week. No place to escape. Thousands of homes and nearly a thousand lives gone.  Crops and livestock devastated and dead. No big media and complex to document moment by moment happenings and get warnings out. Not much news at all, really, about the horrible, extreme need.

And other than a few quick prayers, I hadn’t done a thing to help,

Life seems so unfair. It is unfair. I don’t understand it. But I can help. We can help.

Here are links to two ministries I know you can trust to handle the resources you share responsibly and well:

International Disaster Relief Services

Heartline Ministries

I’m giving right now. I hope you will too.

And next time, let’s not wait.



– Diane

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