Trouble in Haiti– watch where you send your dollars

January 18, 2010 at 3:22 am 2 comments

January 17, 2010.

Imagine, if you can, waking up in Haiti any day this week since the massive earthquake, if indeed you could find a safe place to sleep, to see destruction all around you. Imagine that you are a child and your sibling is dead, or a mother and your family is buried in the rubble of broken buildings.

No water, no food, no one to help. Imagine the desperation. In a country already under great duress, the  aftermath of the earthquake would certainly  bring on additional fear and anxiety.

The news brings this disaster into our homes by radio, television and newspaper. We cannot pretend it away; the devastation is real and people are hurting and desperate, and in great need. The Waterloo Region Record reported yesterday:

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Drumbeats called the faithful to a Sunday Mass praising God amid a scene resembling the Apocalypse – a collapsed cathedral in a city cloaked with the smell of death and rattled by gunfire, where rescue crews battle to pry an ever-smaller number of the living from the ruins.

Our pastor talked today about the actions such catastrophes bring about: the good, when people offer their help financially, and physically by being there, but also the bad, when people are angry, upset and so desperate that some people search for whatever they can find, whether it belongs to them or not, or they storm supply vehicles that are there to bring food and water. Not only that trouble, but also Internet sites set up supposedly to collect money for earthquake victims—people looking to make a buck at others` expense and goodwill.

It would be easy to say that there are others who can help, or that people bring such trouble on themselves. I knew before I even set foot in my church today that I would send a donation. I sent  it through Canadian Lutheran World Relief that I know is working there already beside the Canadian troops and other aid organizations.  My dollars are not a great amount, but when they are matched, the whole sum of many such dollars  mutiply the aid available. I hope that by this evening, a few more poor souls have some food and water, and a shelter too.

I cannot imagine living through such an ordeal. I knew that even as I sat on the church bench that our prayers for the people of Haiti will be answered, perhaps not in a hurry, but that there is help coming.  Jesus comes to the poor and desperate; he is there with them in Haiti, he who died for us to show his Father`s love is there with them too.

Some may wonder if God has abandoned them; they may think God does not care. Jesus came to help those who need it most. He comes to bring comfort. People act in his name, through thankfulness of what God gave them.

The nurse from our area, who went to help on a mission trip, died with the people of Haiti. She had no idea, nor did her family, that she would be in the middle of such a massive upheaval. She went because there was a need and she could help. She`d been there before and probably felt the calling to go back. So soon after her arrival, the earthquake hit and she was another one of its victims.  Now her family mourns with the thousands who survived but lost everything including their loved ones.

If you`re going to send aid, do it through recognized charities like the Red Cross, Canadian Lutheran World Relief or whatever agency your church works through, to make sure your dollars count, and to make sure they get there. Meanwhile pray for the people that the help can reach them in time.

Entry filed under: church, faith, sacrifice. Tags: .

Paw prints in the snow… Canadian nurse who died in Haiti

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. violet  |  January 19, 2010 at 4:57 am

    I read an email, yesterday, from a friend who works with kids in a community outside of Port au Prince. She tells of going into Port on Wednesday – the day after the earthquake, to try to rescue some kids from a school that had been alive the day before when a friend had to leave them. They spent some time loading dead bodies onto their truck, then realizing there was no where to take them, so unloaded them again and stacked them beside the street. Later they spent some time administering first aid and praying for people at a medial clinic. On Fri., she didn’t return to the city as she said it was unsafe – many criminals had escaped from jails and it was dangerous for white women. Somehow hearing this from a friend makes it feel even more real and dreadful.

  • 2. storygal  |  January 22, 2010 at 4:01 am

    How can one ever imagine having to do such a thing as loading and unloading the dead. What a piece of horrid news that must have been. The woman must surely have been worried for her safety too.


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