I have been paralyzed by the news of the earthquake in Haiti this week. I have spent quite a lot of time in Haiti - working in an orphanage and doing short term medical clinics. God has given me a heart for Haitian people and I truly love the country. I did a post a while ago about Haiti here.
So I guess having such a special connection to Haiti has really personalized this tragedy for me.
The orphanage where I worked was in Cap Haitian which is on the northern coast of the island. There was little direct damage from the quake there but the devastation will be coming in waves. First wave is the carnage from the falling buildings. Chaos, destruction and death. The second wave is the disease that will come from lack of resources like food, potable water and medicine. Even Cap Haitian which is far from Port au Prince will be affected since PaP is basically shut down and hence shipments of food, fuel and supplies are cut off. The third wave is a bit more subtle. It is the loss of hope among the Haitian people. Young Haitians are wondering how they will make a successful life for themselves in a country where the Universities are demolished, the government is not functioning and so many are dead.
I'm sure at this point many people have already donated to relief organizations but I have to give a very high recommendation for Samaritan's Purse Disaster Relief. We became familiar with this ministry when we were in Boone, NC for orientation last summer. We were extremely impressed by the depth and scope of the disaster relief arm of SP. Friends listed some of the strong points of the ministry on their website so I thought I'd borrow [ :)]a few to show you why this is a worthwhile relief effort to support:
By the end of the week they will have materials to build 6000 temporary shelters.
They have cargo planes coming and going daily.
Samaritan's Purse receives a 4 star rating (highest possible) from Charity Navigator (a charity rating service). Their efficiency rating surpasses American Red Cross and World Vision. 89% of their donations go directly to program expenses (in this case relief efforts to Haiti if so designated). Less than 5% go to administration.
We have been to their headquarters in Boone, NC and were astounded by their organization, professionalism, expertise, humility, and Christ focused attitude.
SP will have the ability in the next week to produce half-a-million gallons of fresh water daily in the capital city of Haiti.
SP has relationships with local people and organizations so they were able to almost immediately start assessing the needs and work through their local contacts and network to provide care quickly and efficiently.
The aid (bottled water, shelter, flash lights, food, medicine, hygiene kits, medical care) all comes wrapped in the Gospel message of a God who despite the horror of this tragedy cares for you.
They care for the entire individual as evidenced by the presence of doctors, nurses, logisticians and chaplains on hand to care for the victims mind, body and spirit.
You can give online - super easy.
I would urge everyone to give more than you can "afford" and be a part something way bigger than ourselves. And please, please pray for the Haitian people. Pray for healing, comfort and mercy. Pray for the Church in Haiti who struggles against such incredible darkness there. I have spent many nights in Haiti lying in bed listening to the beating of voodoo drums. There is a real presence of spiritual darkness there that cannot be denied. The voodoo priests are telling prophesy of doom for Cap Haitian worse than what happend in PaP. So now in the aftermath of this terrible earthquake people in Cap Haitian are sleeping outside in the torrential rains for fear of sleeping in their homes and being caught in the next wave of destruction that is being promised. Like some many other things in Haiti . . . unbelievable.