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Listen In: Pastor Luserne Noel of Orlando's Hope Church Haitian Community Calls Earthquake After President's Assassination "Devastation"

Photo: Cole G
Photo: Cole G

A 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti over the weekend, just weeks after the country’s president Jovenel Moïse was assassinated.

WMFE spoke with Hope Church Haitian Community Pastor Luserne Noel about the tragedy and how his congregation is helping survivors. 

Read the full interview below and if you'd like to help, email pastor at lusernenoel@gmail.com. 

Danielle: Pastor Noel, tell me a little bit about how you felt waking up to this news of this this earthquake over the weekend and how it's affected your congregation?

Pastor Noel: Well, it was heartbreaking you know since you already know what happened on July 7th and then all the Haitian people we were mourning about the president's assassination and it's become now an earthquake which has hit all the town of Les Cayes, Jérémie. However, when we see that thing? Even the church is impacted. Everybody has some people and some way. And we are all Haitian and even if we're not Haitian our hearts still go with them to that situation, you know?

Danielle: Absolutely, it looks like some 1,200 people sadly passed away. Are you guys planning any efforts to help the victims' families and those who are survivors of this earthquake?

Pastor: Absolutely, yes, we do we start [planning] myself and my Bishop. So we're going to have a meeting today and sit down, put something together to see what we can have or what we can call it to make a team effort to go over there to assist with like the the first aid necessary like food or supplies or whatever we can find. To see how we're gonna be able to provide those things out to those people who are in need.

Danielle: That's wonderful to hear. Are you afraid it's going to be hard for aid to get to your country considering like you said your president was just assassinated a few a few weeks ago?

Pastor: Well, I understand all of that because all of that will contribute but you know, we're not afraid of bringing anything over there or the efforts of getting any aid because we are facing some kind of devastation situation. So the people need to be getting help right [now] as we can right now you know.

Danielle: As we talked about there is you know all sorts of political issues on top of this earthquake. How do you think this is going to affect just the daily life of average people in the country?

Pastor: That situation put everybody in a panic attack so when you when you see a Haitian they don't know what's going to be happening later on tonight? Or as we speak? So and also we already heard that there will be some hurricane which is gonna hit the island, that's really gonna be a total mess for the Haitian people.

Danielle: Is there any way that you know people listening to this can help if they want to help the people of Haiti right now? What would you recommend?

Pastor: Well, the way mostly that we need now we need a way to buy like more food and the necessary, necessary supplies like medicine and stuff like that they really, really need right now. So, if anybody wants to assist, they can call the Hope Church or they can call me and the address if anybody wants to drop off stuff to us is 3032 Monte Carlo Trail, Orlando, Florida, 32805.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.