Tag Archives: Christian Haitian Outreach

Six Months.

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?!

Matthew 25:45

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 CNNCNN 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.

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Help Haiti.

Haiti Donate Online

I couldn’t get this to show up in my sidebar properly so I’m posting it here. Just click on the picture to go to Compassion International or click on any of the links posted in the sidebar to the right of this message under Haiti to find out how you can help. Or click on one of the links below the picture.

For updates check Haitifeed.com.

If you have loved ones in Haiti check this site koneksyon for lists or to post your own information. Also check the ICRC (International Commitee of the Red Cross) website for family links and more info.

Here’s a way to help with the housing situation in Haiti as well, also on Facebook. Contact information and how to help is posted there as well.

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Abandoned Children’s Fund

Donate directly above or call 1-888-884-0567

American Red Cross

Care

Donate online above or call 1-800-521-CARE from the U.S. or +1-404-681-2552 from outside the U.S.

Catholic Relief Services

Donate online by clicking the link above, text RELIEF to 30644, or call 1-800-736-3467.

Children’s Hunger Relief Fund

Donate directly above or call 1-888-781-1585 from the U.S. or +1-707-528-8000 from outside the U.S

Christian Hatian Outreach

Compassion International

Doctors Without Borders

Fireside International

Food for the Hungry

Guts Church (Tulsa)

Hands and Feet

Help Haiti (Air1)

Hope for Haiti

International Medical Corps

International Rescue Committee

Donate directly above or call  1-877-REFUGEE

Mercy Corps

Donate directly above or call 1-888-256-1900

Oxfam

Partners in Health

Donate online through the link above, or donate by mail by sending a check with “Haiti Earthquake Relief” in the memo line to:
Partners In Health
P.O. Box 845578
Boston, MA 02284-5578

Save the Children

Donate directly above or make checks out to “Save the Children” and send to:
Save the Children Income Processing Department
54 Wilton Road
Westport, CT 06880

Samaritans Purse

Sow a Seed

UNICEF USA

Donate directly above or call 1-800-4UNICEF.

World Concern

World Emergency Relief

Donate directly above or call 1-888-484-4543 from the U.S. or +1-760-930-8001 from outside the U.S.

World Vision

Yele Haiti

You can text “Yele” to 501501 to make a $5 donation to Wyclef Jean‘s organization in Haiti, or donate directly here.


Haiti.

For as long as I can remember I have wanted to go to Haiti. It started when I was about 6 years old and we had a family from Haiti come to our church and talk about the different ways God is working there. The family had a daughter close to my age and we got to be good friends in the time we had together. Her name is Rose.

I don’ t know where her and her family are today but the memories we made at such a young age still resonate deep within. The stories of the things Rose and her family survived are some of the most prominent stories I remember from my childhood.

I can’t even begin to tell you all of the stories Rose’s family shared; of one of her brothers being raised from the dead, Rose being intentionally poisoned yet showing no symptoms of being the slightest bit ill, and of her father being told by an angel (I’m thinking via a dream but the memory is a little foggy) to shave his beard in the night and how he avoided prison and sure death by trusting and obeying. Just a few of such awesome stories that show God is still God even in the darkest of times.

Then there’s Eleanor, the founder of Christian Haitian Outreach, and the stories she shared of the children there; of missing limbs growing back, deaf children hearing, and story after story of happiness despite the poverty. I venture to say that while these children have next to nothing by the worlds standards they are indeed among some of the happiest you could ever meet. (Yes, she is safe as are all of the children in the orphanage. There was some structural damage to the building but all are safe.)

I remember being told that one of the worst things you could do to a Haitian child is to give him two pieces of candy. He’ll keep one for himself but then he’ll have to choose amongst his friends who to give the other piece.

And there’s the story of the kid who was given a radio and wanted to share it so he did … by turning it up full blast!

There is a special place in my heart for Haiti. There always has been and there always will be. The devastation wrought upon this little country by the Haiti Earthquake breaks me. I want to be there and to be helping so much it hurts. There are no words to express the pain in my heart for these people.

I have yet to actually make it to Haiti. I was signed up to go when I was 16 but not enough people signed up with me. Instead I went to Mexico. What I saw there is similar to Haiti’s story, though I think Haiti may be worse off. There is wealth to be found, very little of it. The majority of the people live in severe poverty with sewage and garbage running in the streets. Children digging for food in the trash alongside dogs. The beautiful scenery is marred by the small lean-tos built to house large families. Children walking around barefoot on rocks and through garbage. Children working to help take care of the family. Families so large that the older children are pushed out to fend for themselves. Those chosen by sponsors have it better. They get education and shoes and hot meals. But there are families where maybe only one child out of several gets chosen by a sponsor. That child is taken care of but what of the others?

I have been following the Tweets of @RAMhaiti all day today and just reading his minute by minute updates of the destruction brings me to tears. To not know where the people you love are. To not know what you’re going to wake up to in the morning. To not have water, electricity, or heat. To be sleeping outside for fear of buildings falling on you, literally. I don’t know where to go with those thoughts.

People in the US have become so accustomed to having everything just the way we want it that it’s a shock for most of us to see just how little the people of Haiti have materialistically. I think some of the shock is in regards to wondering how a place so close to the US geographically could be so far from the US in every other sense.

I have a feeling though that this earthquake will bring good along with the obvious destruction. While Haiti has gone from having nearly nothing to having even less, I believe their hearts and their spirits will be opened to God and that many will come to know God through this. One of the last tweets I read said something to the effect that “there are people all over saying that the world is ending and that they must find God”. Even with my heart breaking even more with every story or picture that comes out of Haiti, I find comfort in those words. People are coming to know God because of this devastation. He is the only way they will find the strength to go on.

Some facts on Haiti:

Covers only 1/3 of the island it shares with the Dominican Republic which makes it slightly smaller than the US state of Maryland. (27,560 sq km are land while 190 sq km are water)

1,771 km of coastline.

Poorest nation in Western Hemisphere with 80% of the population living under the poverty line and 54% in abject poverty.

Over 9 million people call Haiti home; 9,035,536 to be exact.

Average age of a Haitian: 20.2 years.

Life expectancy: 60.78 years.

Roughly half of the population practices voodoo while 80% claim to be Roman Catholic.

108,000 people use land lines while another 3.2 million use cell phones … that leaves roughly 5.7 million people without that form of communication.

There are 14 airports but only 4 with paved runways.

4,160 km or roadway but over 3,000km are unpaved.

There are 2 TV broadcast stations and 1 cable station.


I can guarantee you that after reading these facts and others that I’m thanking God for the things I take for granted on a regular basis. Things like clean water, electricity, a job, a home, the numerous opportunities for education, and a vehicle.


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