Rising to the Occasion

Dear Friends,

The world has just watched Haiti come through yet another devastating act of nature. In 2008, she was hit by four hurricanes in the span of just thirty days. In 2010, an earthquake claimed a quarter million lives. And now, Hurricane Matthew. Seeing the images and hearing the stories are wrenching our collective gut… again.

Be thankful for the wrench. It is God-given. It is a relief, in fact, to know that all the hate and contentiousness on the evening news and Facebook have not totally numbed our senses.

Our urge is to respond, of course. But it is frustrating not knowing just how to respond. Many of you have contacted us asking what you can do. Offers to give, offers to come down and help. You will remember that our initial plea was for prayer, which thousands of you took us up on. La Gonave was spared from worse devastation because of your prayers. While many hundreds perished on Haiti’s southern mainland, we have heard of only one life that was lost on the island. Thank you for praying. Please now pray for recovery.

While the relief-and-development community’s response to this humanitarian crisis will be spread across many categories (feeding, home repair, medical, etc.), we have determined that our role will focus on the areas in which we are best positioned to work: tree planting and water purification. In addition, we want to replace seven boats that a coastal fishing village lost.

Trees were sparse, even before the storm, but Matthew destroyed thousands more. Fragile banana trees were especially vulnerable. With our development farm up and running, Starfysh can get tens-of-thousands of trees rapidly in the pipeline for planting. We will mobilize Haitians themselves to plant trees across the island. Our goal is to raise and plant 100,000 trees on the island of La Gonave in 2017. Here’s how you or your organization can help…
* Banana seedlings – $2.60 per seedling
* All other tree seedlings – $0.90 per seedling

Clean Water
Our big fear right now is the resurgence of water-borne diseases. Cases of cholera and typhoid fever go up in times of flooding. We are seeing it already in the south. Of the many ways to make water safe, we have found bio-filtration filters to be one of the most economical and long-lasting solutions to the problem of dirty water. So far, Starfysh has placed filters in over one thousand homes on the island and our follow up data proves their consistent long-term use and effectiveness. Hurricane Matthew has re-emphasized to us the importance of continuing our filter installation program.
* Your $125 gift will place a life-saving water filter, providing a family with clean water for 10+ years.

Fishing Boats
The small seaside fishing village of Dub Saline lost all seven of its boats to the hurricane. The village’s livelihood depends on the sea and they are already suffering from hunger. Please help.
You or your group could make a lifesaving impact on this precious village.
* For $1,100 we can supply Dub Saline with a good fishing boat and set of nets.

Thanks for your part. Our response will be our declaration to a cynical world that all is not lost, that the stories of terrorism and mean-spirited elections do not necessarily have to dominate our every neuron. Let’s write our own narrative, that good still exists, that God is the source of all that is good, and that His goodness is revealed in our acts of justice and kindness to those who suffer.  My friends, you and I are called to be salt in a world that’s bitter and tasteless. This is our chance. We must rise to the occasion.

Steve Edmondson
President, Starfysh

P.S.  With your gift, please designate your preference for where it is applied: TREES, WATER, or FISHING BOATS. We’ll apply any undesignated gifts to the area of greatest need.