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Hope Force Continues in Appalachia, Haiti and Turkey

July 11, 2023

Year 2023 has been met with disaster upon disaster.   Hope Force has responded to 4 tornados in the US, sent a team to Nepal, responded to flooding in Haiti and to date, has sent 6 emergency shelter teams to respond to the massive Turkey earthquake.  Our work, in between disasters, is deeply impactful and also continues in Appalachia and Mexico.  Below are highlights from our work in Appalachia, Haiti and Turkey.

“Bob” works every shift he can get, but those shifts are becoming fewer and farther between.  He drives a coal truck, and depending upon the activity of the mines, he might get two days of work a week.  Some weeks, his truck simply sits in the lot since there is nothing coming out of the mines. His COPD from the mines limits his activity and like many others in the county, he just can’t find work opportunities.  His wife, “Sue,” is unable to work because of disability. Our team has recently found out that her eyesight is failing which causes even more stress on Bob who worries about her.

Last summer, we had the privilege of providing insulated siding on their trailer to help with the draftiness of their home.  During that time, we noticed the back room addition on the side of their home needed attention. 

We returned this week to determine what we could do to help Bob and discovered that his home is leaking significantly, much of the wood is rotten and has shifted quite a bit off its footings.  This room is a utility room and houses their water heater, washer and dryer.  We met with Bob's adult daughter and through conversation with her, we discovered that she is sleeping in the leaking and rotting utility room! At this moment, we knew we had to help.  The response of Joe Clara, Hope Force Disaster Response Assistant, says it all: “That story and this home just wrecked me!”

This week, we are trying to do the impossible.  We plan to demo the old room and rebuild a new one in just a matter of days.  We want to make it as seamless as possible for this family as we just learned that Bob’s mother is in hospice and they were told she will probably pass away before this email is even sent.  In this time of grief, we hope to bring a sense of comfort and relief — providing for this family a dry, safe home and a new bedroom for their daughter.

As our team began the demoliton of the addition, we found the rot to be even worse than we orignially expected.  

Our team estimates we can rebuild and expand this room for about $5,000.  Doing so will create a safe and dry place for "Bob's" daughter to sleep.   Would you consider being a part of this project?


Leogane, Haiti:  Hope Force International Responds to Leogane Flooding

On June 2nd, a 24-hour rainstorm pelted down on large parts of the country. The provincial city of Leogane — the epicenter of the massive 2010 earthquake — is only 6 miles from our longterm HFI Haiti location. We quickly received reports of flooding in our surrounding area, but especially in Leogane . Nearby rivers overflowed and water ran down the streets several feet high — flooding homes, schools, churches and businesses. An official report released on June 6 listed 51 deaths, 18 missing, almost 40,000 families impacted and over 31,000 homes under water. Many people lost everything — including furniture, appliances, clothing, food and hygiene supplies. Since the water subsided, streets and homes have been discovered to have several inches of mud — leaving a hurculean clean up job for survivors.


Our local HFI team is responding with the distribution of food and hygiene items for over 400 families impacted by the flooding. The distributions have taken place in a school compound and several volunteers distributed tickets to vulnerable families. In the first distribution, beneficiaries traveled over a two-hour time span to receive the relief kits. Food was purchased locally; our team put the kits together, then transported the relief supplies to the school.

Hope Force actually sponsors four former students in our HFI Child Sponsorship Program who are now students in the vocational school. The Director of the vocational school, who made his facility available for the distribution, Ing Milord, is excited about working together, stating:  “Hope Force shows its strength and 'force' to the community by this humanitarian response. We congratulate HFI and we are together on this road!”

It was great to have the school and HFI staff working together throughout the food distribution. People have shown deep appreciation, and we are grateful for the privilege of bringing relief and hope to those impacted by the floods.


February 6, 2023: the country of Türkiye (Turkey) was rocked by the most devastating earthquake it has seen in 20 years. The 7.8 earthquake hit early in the morning — and nine hours later, a 7.5 earthquake hit about 60 miles away. Approximately 50,000 people lost their lives...but the number is believed to be much higher.

Hope Force has had the privilege of sending six teams to Türkiye to assist in the earthquake relief efforts.  HFI sent four teams to Adiyaman, the center of the earthquake zone, and two teams to Antakya — the Biblical city of Antioch.

Joey Stoltzfus, Disaster Services Director, recently returned from Antakya. As you will see in the video, it is hard to put into words the devastation that is across the city and across the Hatay region of 1.5 million people.  Hope Force is continuing to engage with organizations serving with a long-term view of the recovery efforts. It will be many, many years before these areas make a full recovery. It is our hope that the video will give you some context as to how to pray for the people in the country of Türkiye.