Thursday, January 14, 2010
My heart is so heavy for the people of Haiti right now. I've been watching the news at every chance I get and I can't get it out of my mind when I'm not watching. They keep displaying pictures and video that would shake any human with even a tiny amount of compassion to the core. I'm sure the visuals don't even do the reality of it justice.
While I've never been to Haiti personally, Mark has been there a few times and so has my mom along with several of our friends. The church that we used to attend had a wonderful ministry that they supported in Haiti so they went many times to build orphanages and to preach the gospel to the people who were in desperate need of the hope of Christ. Mark said that it is a place like no other and it rocked his world. This is after being in countless countries all over the globe because of his time in the Navy. He has seen poverty, but nothing like what he witnessed in Haiti.
Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. In fact, it is the only one that would be considered 3rd world here, at all. The poverty level is an astounding 80%, with 56% of them living in an even poorer subclass called abject poverty. If I may be so bold, most of us here in America don't have a clue what this looks like. All of that to say, that even on a good day, the Haitians had a hard time with things like suitable medical care (AIDS is rampant down there), proper hygienic opportunities (like clean water), and decent living conditions. So, now, with the horrific disaster that they have just endured, I can't even imagine how horrible the circumstances are.
It's so easy to shut our eyes and stop up our ears when the unpleasant things come to our attention with the thought that someone else will take care of it, but I believe that we, as individuals, are accountable for this once we are made aware:
"If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." 1 John 3:17-18
And lets face it, even the poorest among us are rich compared to these people.
Obviously, most of us can't just jet down to Haiti to be of physical help no matter how much we'd love to, however, there are ways to give to those that can. You can donate $10 to the Red Cross by using your cell phone to text "Haiti" to the number 90999. Your donation will appear on your next bill. Here is the website if you'd like to read more about it.
There are other groups, like Compassion, that are Christian based who will be making their way down there soon, that are reputable and will use your donations in an honest way. Click here to read about this wonderful organization. And you can click here to make a donation:
I know it is a time of financial hardship for most of us, but a little goes a long way in a situation like this.
Naturally, our prayers are of the utmost importance, as well. I know a friend of a friend has adopted a little child from an orphanage in Port Au Prince (or nearby), but due to a paperwork setback, they've been unable to get him home to the States. Now, they are desperately trying to find out if he is alright (their blog is here) There are so many people unaccounted for, and with limited communication available, there is no telling how long it will be before people will find out about their loved ones. So we pray for comfort in the HARD times of those who are waiting, and of course that the precious lives of their loved ones were spared. ~sigh~
For he has not despised or disdained the suffering or the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help. Psalm 22:24
Posted by Gayle @ thewestiecrew at 8:09 AM