Wallingford pastor increases Haitian relief effort in wake of hurricane

Wallingford pastor increases Haitian relief effort in wake of hurricane


WALLINGFORD — A local pastor is expanding his hurricane relief efforts in Haiti.

In October, Hurricane Matthew battered the island nation. More than 1,000 people died, and hundreds of thousands lost their homes.

The Rev. Jean Lubin Beaucejour, pastor at White Oak Baptist Church on North Whittlesey Avenue and a Haitian native, coordinates relief efforts through Bethesda Evangelical Mission.

He and his brother, Jean Phares Beaucejour, founded the mission in 1984. Phares Beaucejour is the mission director and lives in Haiti.

Lubin Beaucejour leads trips monthly to Les Cayes, a major port city on Haiti’s southern peninsula. His next trip is scheduled for Dec. 15.

The missionary group distributes food and medical supplies, gives small loans, cares for orphans and helps rebuild schools and hospitals.

After the hurricane, food was the immediate need, Lubin Beaucejour said.

“We distributed food to 35,000 families, enough food for six weeks (per family),” he said. “We restored drinking water in some areas and now we need to start focusing more on rebuilding.”

Throughout the southern peninsula, 80 percent of the houses were downed or damaged. The roof blew off many of the homes, and tarps have been a temporary solution.

“They need some definite housing project construction to make a difference, a bigger difference,” Lubin Beaucejour said.

He also coordinates medical teams from hospitals in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts and New Jersey.

“We set up mobile medical clinics in villages, four or five times a week,” he said. “Last clinic, we saw 851 patients in five clinics. It was very helpful to do that.”

In January, he will travel with a team of 31 volunteers. Some will visit orphanages; others will aid in hospital construction.

“Prior to Hurricane Matthew, we could easily see the progress we’d been making” after the devastating earthquake in 2010, he said. “After Matthew, it seemed like we almost had to start from scratch, start over again.”

Donations are tax-deductible and can be made at www.bemhaiti.org/donate. More information on ways to help can be found at www.bemhaiti.org/join-our-team.

Twitter: @LCTakores

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