While Americans ripped open packages and feasted on turkey, cookies, and fudge during December, Haitians experienced quite the opposite conditions. As we gathered with friends and family in decked out houses with lights and trees, many of them were forced to find shelter under blue plastic tarps. Crammed in with other hungry, desperate people, rapes and robberies occur regularly. Due to the collapse of infrastructure from the earthquake, the majority of people are still in survival mode, unable to work, attend school, or continue their normal lives. To make matters worse, 100,000 Haitians have cholera. Two thousand people died from the devastating disease which causes severe diarrhea and vomiting. On top of that, Haiti has experienced a surge of political unrest.
Something is wrong with this picture, I thought. In the midst of our celebrating the holiday, the Haitians struggled desperately to grasp onto the line of life. As we stuff our recycle bins with torn wrapping paper, take down our Christmas decorations, and plan goals for 2011, the Haitians scratch to survive. The question is, what can I do? What will I do? Or will we choose to ignore their suffering? Granted, life in Haiti was never a trip to Disneyland. The country had many issues before the quake, which magnified their suffering greatly.
Even so, how can we live with ourselves if we choose to do nothing? For me, health issues make it difficult to go to Haiti to help physically. However, I can offer my support to those who choose to go. This may be prayer support, financial support, or support in the form of helping maintain their homes while they are away.
Many organizations are offering needed assistance to Haitians in the form of health care, supplies, and rebuilding infrastructure. Here are some resources to offer a hand. After all, can we really continue on our merry way while they suffer amidst despair and destruction?
- Samaritan’s Purse www.samaritanspurse.org
- Salvation Army www.salvationarmy.org
- World Vision www.worldvision.org
For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited me in; ( Matthew 25:35)