I’m in shock. My heart is crushed, and I am deeply saddened.
It’s been about 7 months since our journey to the Haiti we once knew, now forever changed, a Haiti in desperate need of help and hope. You might recall posts from our recent trip about the land, our pictures, our love for the people.
First of all, many thanks to you for your prayers, thoughts, and financial support to organizations like the Red Cross, Mercy Corps, One Days Wages, and of course, our dear friends at Haiti Foundation of Hope. Please continue to pray for the people of Haiti, for the relief work, for those missing loved ones, for the aid workers preparing to travel, and for humility and a way to connect on a humanistic level to those affected by this disaster. There have been many tragedies in our world, yet this one feels so different to me as we think of our friends and the people there, the magnitude of the situation, barely being able to imagine what it’s like down there.
It pains and angers me to read comments that people believe that Haitians somehow deserved this (Read this CNN article about Pat Robertson), that the damage could have been prevented, that we should focus on putting blame on someone or God for the situation. Thankfully, there have been a lot of amazing reflection about this issue (like Donald Miller’s Response) and I am reminded that I do not help the issue by getting angry at others and trying to debate, but instead, I am called to support the relief efforts in anyway possible.
We must use our energy and resource to act and respond to help. I can’t even fathom how people have the audacity to cast away human suffering and need and focus on issues that distract from the true need at hand. I know there are some who can relate to this kind of suffering and tragedy, but for the most of us, we don’t and could never comprehend something to this magnitude.
Imagine sleeping in a building with no steel rebar in it for reinforcement, let alone on something that is kind of mattress. Imagine being one of thousands of homes that are built next to each other, on top of each other. Access to clean water, food, and medical care is scarce. Human waste and trash is hard to remove and transportation to and from your home is either walking or making your way in cramped trucks on rocky pathways that are meant to be roads. There is no stable economy, your country has been hit with several natural disasters, natural resources have been depleted from human action as well as mother nature, and you are too poor to be able to afford to leave and try to make a better life for yourself.
Now sadly, this was just day to day life for the average Haitian. Reality now, a 7.3 magnitude earthquake has just leveled and ravaged this country. All I can think of is, “Why of all places, Haiti?”, especially an earthquake. I read a report about the last major California earthquake and how it caused $20 billion worth of damage and over 80 people were killed. From the reports coming in through the media, tens of thousands have died in the Haitian earthquake and worst yet, aid such as clean water, food, and medicine can’t even make its way on to the island with damaged ports and blocked roads meaning that millions could suffer.
It’s been hard these past couple of days to not feel so saddened, to not feel for so many who have lost loved ones and in many ways the life they’ve known. Yet even in the midst of this chaos, I choose to believe that there is hope for Haiti, I know there is hope for Haiti. If there is a group of people who can endure through hardships, a group of people who know how to survive, and a group of people who will teach us all important lessons about life, it will be the people of Haiti. For many years that have not received the aid and respect they deserve. I hope that in these next couple days, months, and years, we will find a way to come together to work side by side with them to help rebuild their nation and their lives. There is still hope for Haiti.
Here are some pictures I took to get a sense of the buildings that once were, that probably do not exist anymore.