After a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti Saturday, Aug. 14, the nation is in “distress and anguish,” says Prédestin Hérard, president of the Evangelical Baptist Association of Churches of Haiti, which operates My Father’s House orphanage in Port-au-Prince.

“Haiti is a country of disaster after disaster,” Prédestin says: the death of Haiti’s president in July; a “political crisis that is ravaging the country,” with many people being “forced to leave their homes with their families to go and live in public places in infrahuman conditions”; a humanitarian crisis “caused by armed gang conflicts”; and, much earlier, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake on Jan. 12, 2010.

When Saturday’s earthquake hit, Haiti still hadn’t fully recovered from the catastrophic damages caused by the 2010 earthquake.

“It is too early to be able to give a statistic of the damages caused by this earthquake,” Prédestin says. “But one thing is certain: the damages are a lot and it is really sad.”

Those in the affected areas cannot go back to their homes right away, since aftershocks are expected. “This means that people will once again live in tents like they did during the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake,” Prédestin says.

“Haitians were already living in extreme famine, plus insecurity, diseases of all kinds added by natural disasters. Really, that’s sad.”

In the Association of Evangelical Baptist Churches of Haiti, churches in the western region were not affected by the earthquake. But affiliated churches and their members in the south, in Port-au-Prince and its neighboring regions, were affected.

Prédestin asks people to pray for protection, provision, and peace.

“Pray that the ground root organizations will be supported instead of politicians making money off of a natural crisis. Pray for the peace and strategic wisdom given to all government leaders, organization and church leaders. Pray that God will illuminate all survivors trapped for the rescue workers. Pray for all medical supplies to go to the places needed.”

After this earthquake, many people will bring children to Prédestin’s orphanage, he says. “Pray that the Lord will send us sufficient resources and available spaces to receive them. . . . I will not and I cannot refuse to accept them.”

The needs are great in Haiti. Donate to Regular Baptist International’s compassion fund to help partnering ministries and their churches in Haiti recover following this devastating earthquake. Mark your gift “compassion fund.”