Haiti: Six Months Later

The world seemed to stand still for a moment 6 months ago when a powerful earthquake rumbled its way through the tiny country of Haiti and destroying everything in its path. My friend Stuart was there. You can read and see more of Stuart in Haiti during that time here. Newspapers wrote about it and Stuart witnessed that God is very active in Haiti among the Haitian survivors. Below is a recent article Stuart wrote for Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, student magazine Contact. (Stuart and I became friends while students at the seminary). How cool it would be if the country known for so long now as the poorest in the western hemisphere, will now and forever be known as God's country!

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Relief or Tragedy Tourism? The Church's Response to the Quake

 

 For the past two weeks, I’ve been riveted by the stories coming out of Haiti. I’ve read stories that bring me to my knees, stories that make me shake my fist in anger, and stories that make me feel incredibly hopeful. It’s been interesting to watch different responses to the disaster. Between the Haitian government, NGO’s, foreign governments, the UN, independent churches, and missionaries in Haiti, everyone seems to have their own unique take on how to best help the Haitian people. At times, it has seemed that there is no clear leader, no clear entity ultimately in charge of the relief effort.

I think it’s crucial for us, as Christians, to evaluate the church’s response to the crisis.

In the days following the quake, the biggest needs were clearly recovery, search and rescue, and serious medical help. All the organizations mentioned above flew in almost immediately with these resources. But, the runways were clogged. Too many planes, not enough space. Our church partners with an organization called Medical Teams International. MTI immediately sent two planes filled with medical personnel and supplies to Port au Prince but, were unable to land. There was no space for them to touch down. Two planes, filled with life saving supplies and doctors, were diverted to the Dominican Republic.

Live Video Update from Haiti

I received this video update from my friend Stuart who is on the ground in Haiti now. His team from a church in CT were there when the quake hit.

Stuart had this to share in an email only a few hours ago:

Thanks to all of you for your thoughts and prayers. Our team is still in Haiti, and we are doing fine. We have been working on various ways of getting out of the country. We are just taking it day by day. It has now been 4 nights since the quake and still most Haitians are sleeping on the streets, in open places, and huddled together. Most of them just have a sheet around them, or not even that. At 4am this morning I saw a man in shorts sleeping on the hard cement. They are sticking together though - it is vary rare to see people sleeping alone at night. We have continued to sleep outside as well, as the tremors are still rumbling quite powerfully. Please pray that the tremors would stop, that it would be safe enough for people to begin the long process of rebuilding there lives. Yesterday we were able to help find a number of Haitians whose relatives in the U.S. had heard no word from them. They are all alive. Today we will go out with different families in the community and visit their homes, pray with them, and help in any way we can. The smell in the air is getting worse as the morgues are overflowing. Though, being 40 miles outside Port-au-Prince, we are in a safe zone. Things sound to be getting pretty bad there, as bodies are lining the streets, and anger is rising as the days continue, the reality sinks in, and the scarcity of food and water makes its impact.

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Why Do We Care What Pat Robertson Says?

One of the most devastating and tragic earthquakes of my lifetime hit the already downtrodden nation of Haiti on Tuesday. It hurts my heart to think about the horror of such a calamity, which destroyed the capital city and killed tens of thousands of people.

But in the wake of this tragedy of unimaginable scope, everyone seems to be talking about something else… Pat Robertson.

Quips about Robertson and his ridiculous comments have been lighting up Twitter and Facebook. He’s been a top trending topic for the last 2 days. And everyone seems to be getting quite a kick out of joining in the Robertson slam-fest. Of the many tweets I’ve seen, here’s just a sampling:

  • “Pat Robertson is kinda like that senile old uncle at your family reunion. He said what? Oh, that’s just crazy Uncle Pat. Pay no attention.”
  • “Why do so many people in Haiti have to die while Pat Robertson lives?”
  • “Pat Robertson, bringing shame to the name of Christ for 50 years.”
  • “I wonder what Pat Robertson blames for the NBC late night debacle.”
  • “Pat talks about the Devil like he’s had business meetings with him… or the two play racket ball…”
  • “Just in case you needed more proof that Pat Robertson doesn’t speak for Christians, here you go…”
  • “Behold Pat Robertson, the unintended consequence of the first amendment.”
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Haitians Cry Out To Jesus. How Will He Answer Them?

It’s breaking news everywhere. Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere, shook yesterday as a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the tiny island country. An earthquake of this size is devastating regardless of where it strikes. In poverty stricken Haiti, it is of the highest level of trauma. Haiti, comparative in size to the state of Maryland, lacks infrastructure and the means to enable recovery from such a force as this quake. Haiti needed help before the quake and Haiti needs help now.

In 2007, Haiti ranked 43rd in the world for highest number of people living with HIV/AIDS. The risk of contracting a major infectious disease is high for Haitians due to unclean water. While 80% of Haitians identify themselves as Catholic and 16% as Protestant, nearly half of the 9 million island inhabitants practice voodoo.*

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Prayers for Fellow Blogger in Haiti

1/15 UPDATE: Kristen and her daughter are back on US soil. They were evacuated in the middle of the night to a military base in New Jersey. They will be home by this evening. 

 

My sister-in-law, Kristen Howerton, was in Haiti with her infant daughter and soon to be adopted son when a 7.0 earthquake struck. You know her as the author of the Mama Manifesto blog here on Conversant Life. Kristen has not updated her Conversant column but, she has been able to post to her personal blog. You can click here to read her story so far.

She has been in contact with her husband, Mark, and all three are safe. The Livesays, the American missionaries she's with are also OK. The children at the orphanage made it out of the building safely. You can read updates from the Livesays and Kristen at http://www.livesayhaiti.blogspot.com/. They are updating as often as they possibly can in the midst of power outages and general chaos.

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