Haiti (MNN) — A 7.0 magnitude earthquake rocked the Island nation of Haiti last night killing many and leveling buildings. The quake hit just outside the capital Port au Prince just before 5 o'clock.
Baptist Haiti Mission has work throughout Haiti, says Ron Sparks. "Our mission team there is alright. Our first communication was from one of our missionaries over Facebook ."
Telephone and other communication lines are down. A hospital in the region was also damaged, says Sparks. "You may have seen one hospital collapsed in the city of Pation Ville, which is just a short distance from where our mission compound is located, and so our hospital there is handling a lot of injuries."
While the missionaries are okay, Baptist Haiti Mission has received some bad news. Sparks says, "One of our Haitian helpers, who is our purchasing guy — he buys supplies for the mission — was killed."
Sparks also says, "[Their team] has reported that we have some damage to our mission compound, but not serious compared to what's happened elsewhere."
While meeting the physical needs is the most important thing right now, Sparks says the Gospel will be shared. "We have a chaplain who comes around and witnesses and shares the Gospel with the patients and gives them Bibles. I know he's going to be working over-time now, as will our missions staff."
The magnitude 7.0 quake — the most powerful to hit Haiti in a century, was centered about 10 miles (15 kilometers) southwest of Port-au-Prince, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. It could be felt strongly in eastern Cuba, more than 200 miles away, witnesses said.
Sparks says this is yet another tragedy that has beset the country. He says prayer is desperately needed and so is funding to help with the physical needs of the Haitian people.
He also concerned about security. "We're hoping that the U-S government will put feet to its words. There's going to be tremendous devastation to the buildings and roads and there's going to be unrest and some degree of chaos. We need to have a police force put in place to restore order."