Sunday, January 17, 2010
Hell in Haiti
A year ago my wife and I were in Haiti for 2 weeks on a mission trip. Within 24 hours I was ready to return home. On a good day, Haiti is hell. The depth of poverty is unimaginable. There is U.S. poor and then there is Third World poor. No comparison. Most Haitians have nothing and look forward to nothing--on a good day. It's oppresive. Thousands and thousands of people who have no idea where or what their next meal will be. No running water, no electricity. Life there is harsh and raw. We were walking through a large outdoor market. Very crowded, shoulder to shoulder. I noticed up ahead that people would either step to the left or right a few paces and then converged again. Another ten steps and I see a corpse lying in the main walkway. People are nonchanlantly walking around this dead man as they continue looking for fresh fruit and vegetables. Apparently, this man had attempted to steal something and a mob beat him to death, and went about their business. The flies had started gathering by the time I saw him. Just another day in hell.
The suffering is unparalleled. The hygiene deplorable. The hope for the future bleak. And that's on a good day.
And now the earthquake has hit. There will be no such thing as a "good" day for a long, long time. Years, if ever. The devastation is apocalyptic. The news showed a bulldozer with its large bucket scooping up dead bodies from a pile, turning, and dropping them into a dump truck which then was going to haul them to a mass grave.
Haiti needs OUR help. If you haven't already, I ask you to contribute financially to provide them relief. There are a number of credible relief organizations to which you can contribute. I suggest the Red Cross as an agency that is not faith-based. Several organizations faith-based in nature are World Vision, Samaritan's Purse, and Crisis Response International. Go to their respective websites to contribute.
I would like to go to Haiti in the coming weeks or months to directly provide hands-on relief. Please let me know if you become aware of others doing so, and I will try to keep you apprised of the situation. as well.
The photo that heads this blog is one I took of two children at the orphanage we worked in a year ago. They form a lasting impression. Please don't forget them.