Stronger Than a Hurricane

Disaster reliefHurricanesHaiti

Meet Rose: the woman with faith stronger than a hurricane.

70-year-old Rose lives alone in St Jean du Sud, Haiti – her husband died in 1997. However, she loves her coastal home and her life alone, although making ends can be very difficult with no support: ‘I don’t have anything – I can’t work because I have been ill, so God is my everything.’

Then on October 4th, Hurricane Matthew reached Haiti, causing devastation in its wake. Rose recalls the night it struck her town: ‘It started raining at 10pm. At 4am, the house starting shaking, and by 5am, everything was destroyed. My roof just flew off with no warning!  Everyone was screaming and yelling to God for help – God was all we had left.’

Their last hope
She decided that God was, indeed, her last hope. ‘All my neighbours gathered together outside – there was nothing we could do but pray.’ As the rain beat down and the winds slammed into her house, they stayed huddled together. ‘We thought we were going to die, but said to ourselves “if one of us is going to die, then we would all die together” But God was our rescuer.’

Rose and her neighbours didn’t lose their lives that night. They did, however, lose their livelihoods – their gardens, trees, food and homes were damaged or destroyed. 

'‘Everything which gives us life is gone, but God has given me the breath of life, so I thank God for that.'


When she returned to her home the next day her possessions were rain sodden and all her food provisions had been swept away. 

In spite of all this, Rose remained thankful: ‘Everything which gives us life is gone, but God has given me the breath of life, so I thank God for that. It is by the grace of God that I am alive, so I give thanks to God for that.’ 

However she had no idea how she could stay alive with no food to survive.

Faith rewarded
However her prayers and unshakeable faith were rewarded; Tearfund’s partner organisation World Concern came to St Jean du Sud to offer emergency assistance. They provided food kits to Rose and her neighbours, who had also lost everything. 

In the aftermath of the hurricane, our partners have been on the ground, working around the clock to provide immediate relief to some of the most inaccessible, and most vulnerable communities. 

Rose and her neighbours now have basic food items like rice, spaghetti and milk to keep them going as they rebuild their lives. As she received her package, Rose declared: ‘I know I can make it through now that I have some food to eat – I am so thankful to you for thinking of me’ – still joyful, and thankful, after everything.

Give to Tearfund’s Haiti Appeal today.

  • For Rose and thousands like her around Haiti that they will be able to rebuild their lives in the coming months.
  • For Tearfund’s partners, working hard to prevent an outbreak of cholera and other deadly diseases.
  • For the work of rebuilding, so that communities will be rebuilt more resilient to disaster.