Thursday, January 14, 2010


I can't sleep tonight. It's 4am in Haiti of day 3, and I imagine there are thousands there who can't sleep either. People who have nothing have suddenly lost more in a devastating earthquake. We have heard from friends in an email simply titled death. An entire neighborhood gone, every house collapsed. Friends and family confirmed dead. Church members in one house in the middle of a teaching time, 10 escaped, 20 died. Our friends were removed to Gonaives outside Haiti in the hills by some other church friends there because of all the death and destruction and there is nothing to do now. But, wait. For the aid, the money, the bottled water, the food. But, it has all come before. Haiti just went through a devastating season of floods and mudslides off the hills which lost their trees long ago because the people needed charcoal to cook what little food they had. Before that, it was the hurricanes that seem to regularly find the tiny island community. Then, there were the dictators like Papa Doc, and his evil son, Baby Doc. Before that there was the U.S occupation, and before that the slave trade that created a slave colony from West Africa on Haiti. The slaves revolted in 1804 and fought a heroic war against their French masters and they won, but lost. The French made them pay for years. No other country came to their aid for the U.S and other Caribbean nations had slaves of their own to worry about. No one wanted the slave revolts to spread. And so it has gone for Haiti. The world watches as a People suffers. Some Christians repeat an old rumor that the leaders of Haiti way back when made a pact with satan. Pat Robertson repeated it today. It is supposed to explain Haiti's miseries. It is a convenient excuse: Haiti is cursed, that is why all this happens. Better to look at the myriad ways Haiti has been robbed and raped by her friends and foes. Millions of dollars have been spent in Haiti and yet the people remain desperately poor. Thousands of charitable organizations have been there for years yet there is little impact to be seen. There are some remarkably good efforts aimed at helping the people; doctors, missionaries, teachers, child care workers; yet there are no jobs, housing is not even inadequate, and, obviously, for this island nation that sits atop a major fault, there were no earthquake proof structures. Even the greatest source of pride, the National Presidential Palace, along with most government buildings collapsed today. As did almost every building in Port-au-Prince.

I heard from Compassion. The child we support in Haiti has not been found, yet, as well as many, many more. The searching will go on for days. People who thought they had nothing more to lose found out they did. I will pray for our friends in Haiti, and for those who have lost more than they can bear, and I will send money, and help with the rebuilding effort. I will mourn and I will cry, and I will beg the Lord God for mercy.

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