Local members of Haitian community react to devastating earthquake

Published: Aug. 16, 2021 at 10:46 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - It was a devastating weekend for Haiti as a strong earthquake rumbled through the country.

“When I look at my country it’s a big problem,” said Exavier Saintal, the pastor at Tri-City Haitian Ministry. “A lot of people feel very bad and we cry.”

Local members of the Haitian community are filled with grief as they watch loved ones deal with the catastrophe.

“Every house over there is broke down and everyone is in the street. They still call me every day. It’s terrible right now,” said Saintal.

This isn’t the first time Haitians have been in such difficult circumstances.

More than a decade ago, another earthquake caused widespread destruction in the country, killing roughly 300-thousand people.

The news of this weekend’s destruction is still disheartening for some living here in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

“It’s heartbreaking to see and hear what people have been saying, how people sleep. There’s no food, water, there’s no tent for them. It’s a very said situation,” said Paul Aladin, the pastor of Bridgeport Community Church.

The pastors tell us they’ve been working to help provide better opportunities for the citizens of Haiti.

“We used to go and provide school supplies and the monetary funds. Now, we are building a school that will provide technical skills for men and women,” said Aladin.

Saintal said, “We raised the money. People are working and making money together to build the church and build the school and try to help everyone over there, but now everything is destroyed.”

Fortunately, Pastor Aladin says their school in Haiti is still standing, but Pastor Exavier says the destruction has delayed their plans to open next month.

Both believe, in this time of crisis, the country is going to need a lot of help.

“I just want the community to know we need their support and their prayer,” said Aladin.

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