Today marks six months since the Haiti Earthquake. I don’t think we’re any closer to seeing a sense of normalcy return – in fact, we may be further from that than when this started.
Just to recap (for those of you who’ve forgotten about the people of Haiti):
January 12, 2010 – a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti with the epicenter being roughly 16 miles outside of Port-au-Prince (the capital). It was so strong that it was felt in Cuba, Venezuela, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic.
January 16, 2010 – the US claims $48 million already raised to help with efforts in Haiti – not sure how that money has been delegated.
January 20, 2010 – the strongest aftershock recorded at 5.9 magnitude nearly directly beneath Petit-Goave.
January 23, 2010 – the Haitian Government calls off official search and rescue missions.
By January 24, 2010 – at least 52 aftershocks measuring 4.5 magnitude or greater had been recorded.
3 MILLION people affected.
1 MILLION people left homeless.
200,000+ were killed or died because of earthquake related circumstances – including some people who were very high government types.
250,000 homes and 30,000 businesses were severely damaged or completely destroyed.
$910.6 million raised/pledged in relief funds – between the US ($48m), the European Union ($474m), Brazil ($210m), France ($14.4m), the UK ($32.7m) and Canada ($131.5m) – so why are the Haitian people still living in tent cities?!
45 “Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.
Something I’ve noticed with, not just Americans but, people in general is that we’re quick to help someone or a group of people as soon as the devastation occurs. And maybe we’ll stay on for a couple of weeks. But, eventually (sooner rather than later) we all head home, back to our own lives, and while we don’t necessarily forget about the devastation that happened we move it out of our immediate focus so that any thought that direction is more of a “fleeting moment” than a conscious thought. We’ve done this with Haiti.
I’m curious how many people know that today is the 6 month mark since the earthquake. If it weren’t for the news channels, the radio stations, the internet and newspapers, and all the other forms of media we have access to now, would you know what today represented? Even now, I’ve pulled up CNN, CNN World, and Fox News but they have yet to report anything regarding the Haiti Earthquake.
What you have to understand is that Haiti is the forgotten country in the Western Hemisphere. To me, Haiti is one of our own. To others, Haiti is just another 3rd world country they can boost their resume’s on. To others still, Haiti is a place that induces compassion and self-awareness and self-ashamedness.
But, the facts are that Haiti, by definition, is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. There are 900+ million people in Haiti, all in a 27,750 square mile area. (That’s 32,000+ people in a square mile!) Eighty percent (80%) of the Haitian population lives below the poverty line.
The Haitian flag is very similar to those of France and Lichtenstein. There’s a blue stripe, a red stripe, and the country’s coat of arms on a white square in the middle. The red stripe represents mulatto Haitians while the blue stripe represents the union of mulatto and black Haitians. The coat of arms is a Palmette surrounded by the liberty cap with the French inscription “in union there is strength”.
Now, I don’t know what you know about Haitian people but, despite they’re lack of material goods, I consider them some of the richest people on Earth. Even in the midst of all this destruction the Haitian people are rallying themselves. I mean, let’s be honest, we (the outsiders) are no longer there to help boost morale. And while there’s probably still some assistance I know that it’s not anywhere the level it should be. Had this happened in the US, we would have already rebuilt our cities, homes, businesses, etc and they’d be twice as strong and able to withstand much more that a 7.0 magnitude earthquake. But, it’s not the US and the Haitian people continue living in tents still with no more access to resources than before.
I applaud the Haitian people for not losing faith in impossible circumstances and for continuing to run this race.
2 Timothy 4:6-8
6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.