Eastern Cuba was devastated by Hurricane Matthew as it passed over the island on Wednesday. Cities and towns such as Baracoa, Nibojon and Maisi have experienced major destruction and have been virtually cut off from all outside help.

There is an immediate need for emergency supplies, food, and clean, safe drinking water.

You can read the emails from two church leaders in Eastern Cuba below.

This Sunday, October 9th, we will be receiving a special offering during both services to help provide these essential supplies to the people of Eastern Cuba. Please be prepared to give above and beyond your regular tithes and offerings as we do our part in reaching out to our ministry partners in Cuba.

You can also give online to this special offering online.

Thanks to God we entered Baracoa with the first load of food. Our vans entered in advance of the army. We arrived before the civil authorities. The destruction is terrible, something like a horror film. The pain is indescribable and they are beginning to suffer from hunger.

In the middle of the night we left with three small cars and two trucks with 10 tons of food for Nibujon, Imias and Baracoa.

My wife and I are trying to enter Maisi (right now). No one has been able to enter there except a helicopter from the army. We will find a way to make it even if we leave the car and go in by foot.

The problem of getting drinking water is acute. The rivers are overflowing and the pumps can’t deliver water due to a lack of electricity.

By way of priority, 1.  They will need water filters that can filter water for the different communities. The concern is that there is no drinking water and it is not available to be purchased. 2. They need electric generators since there is no power in these areas.

We cannot underestimate the immediate need of clean water.

Osbel GutierrezPresident, Cuban Eastern Baptist Convention

It is almost midnight and we are returning from Baracoa. Three of us took some provisions for the brothers and attempted to evaluate the needs in the affected areas. What we saw was painful to see. As has been said 90% of the houses suffered damage either partially or totally. At this time, from San Antonio del Sur, Imias, Baracoa, and Maisi there is no electric service or even mobile telephone service.

The first place we saw was Imias with Pastor David Martínez on the southern coast. Their church building was not damaged and is serving as a refuge for church members and for neighbors. A light pole fell on the pastor’s house and destroyed his roof. The same damage was done to the church building at Hitos de Sabanilla, 2nd and 3rd Baptist Baracoa and San Luis del Jamal.

On every side the crops were destroyed; the yucca, malanga, coffee, Cacao that are the substantial crops for these people were totally destroyed. They will have to start from zero. Maisi is still inaccessible and we don’t have any word of how to get there.

We were the first to get into the areas where we traveled. We drove behind an electric combine with saws that cut down the trees that were fallen and a bulldozer that flattened out destroyed highway.

The people in Mizzon have gone through the eye of the hurricane with wins over 200 km an hour which stayed over them for over four hours. We can see the joy of the Lord because the Lord has saved their lives from death, but we also see sadness because of the great damage and material loss. We know that they will get past that but they will need the support of many for the people of God both on the island and those who live off the island.

Eddy GonzalezPresident, Cuban Eastern Baptist Seminary