It’s been difficult to follow the reports from Haiti over the past few days. We find it tough to watch video and view photos of people living on the streets of Port-Au-Prince, desperate for food, water and medical assistance. Our hearts break as we watch video and view photos of precious lives lost and forced to be left among the rubble or on the streets.
This is a catastrophe and the country is seemingly in chaos as aid workers do all they can to get to those in need.
Today I was sitting here thinking about all of the news crews shuffling to gain access into Haiti in the hours after this earthquake. Trying to get to the big story and be on top of everything as it unfolded. Then, I thought of the people who were already on the ground for years. Did anyone notice how many Americans being interviewed in Haiti were missionaries and relief workers? The people who have heard the cries of the poorest of the poor in Haiti long before this tragedy hit. They were already there because this is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and they were doing what they could with the resources available to them.
One of the organizations that have been on the ground in Haiti since 1968 is Compassion International. It’s sobering to view this Google Earth image of Compassion centers that are in and around the epicenter in Haiti. It’s a heartbreaking wake up call to watch the video below from Compassion’s President Wess Stafford. There are more than 65,000 children sponsored in Haiti. More than 6,000 of those precious little ones were in or near the epicenter of this earthquake and trying to get information about these kids is hard right now because of the chaos in the country.
Compassion has been close to my heart for the past five years. I’ve visited Central and South America and seen this ministry in action. I’ve been an advocate for years and sponsor my precious boy Ronald who lives right outside of Lima, Peru. If you sponsor a child you know that these little ones become part of your family. I can not imagine what more than 6,000 sponsors are going through right now as they wait and hope.
Yet we stand firm in the reminder from Wess Stafford that when it comes to Haiti “God is not surprised or worried right now…” He is steadfast and His mercy never ceases to exist…even when we look to the Heavens and ask “Why?”
In the coming days we’ll watch more videos and see more photos of the aftermath in Haiti. More than likely we will shed tears as the reality of the loss of human lives sinks in. But what we can not do is hear the tremendous number of lives lost and feel helpless. We must continue to do the work that is needed to help the people of Haiti because in helping we choose to give hope and remind the people of Haiti that they are not forgotten.
Realistically, most of us can’t leave our jobs and families and head to Haiti to help. But as Adam Schiff put it “Americans are blessed with great plenty; we are a generous people and we have a moral obligation to assist those who are suffering from poverty, disease and famine.”
The people of Haiti have been suffering from poverty and famine for decades. They have needed our assistance but there have been bigger news stories to cover and it has been easier to ignore the silent cries of those in need. Now, the eyes of the world are on Haiti. I wish it didn’t have to happen like this.
Your prayers can and will help Haiti. Each prayer is a gift for the people of Haiti. But we need to dig deep and consider what we can do financially to help and be careful how we give. We must make sure that we give those that will use the money wisely and have the organization on the ground to do the most work possible with your financial gifts. We all need to go to the organization we trust. My money goes to Compassion International because I know how they work, they are highly rated in financial integrity and they’ve invested decades of work and relationships in Haiti.