Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Haiti: Can We Learn Something?

Devastation, hopelessness, Armageddon, 1000's dead, disease, rubble, why?..... These are only a few of the words you can find in the opening paragraph of most stories describing the state of affairs in Haiti. I can imagine that the video, the pictures, the stories we see and hear out of this country are not truly representative of the actual horror that is really being experienced by the people of this poverty-strickened nation.

Why? I wonder how many locals and people around the world have asked that question. They were struggling to make ends meet even on a good day.... much less after a crushing, devastating earthquake. I have never been to Haiti, but my wife and two daughters have visited several times. They traveled to this island-country on Christian mission trips to build relationships with the Haitians, to work in the orphanage, to teach, and to construct buildings. They fell in love with the people and still communicate with friends even today.

Why would God allow this to happen to the people of the 3rd poorest country on the globe? I don't know. It's the age-old question. Some have stated that God is punishing them because of the strong following that voodoo commands. Some have stated that God is creating an open door for many to see his love through the rescue, relationships, and rebuilding that will surely follow this tragedy. Some have stated that it is surely a random act of nature.

What is our response? Do we even care? Do the tragic reports and pictures really move us to any type of action? It's easy for us to sit in our living rooms and simply turn the channel. If we were actually there, seeing images with our own eyes, we might be motivated more urgently. Tami & I have been supporting a young couple in Northwest Haiti for a while - even before the earthquake. Curtis and Danielle have dedicated their early married lives to the people of Haiti on behalf of God. Now, they are in the middle of the mess. I know they never could have dreamt of this scenario... but there they are! God is giving them the opportunities of a lifetime - like never before!

Most of us have never experienced what the people of Haiti are currently going through. God willing... we never will. But God's ways are not necessarily our ways. There are so many viewpoints that we never consider. I usually think I am a pretty good thinker, but I never think about all of the possibilities. There always might be a better way... a better outcome.... a better long-term result.

So, maybe we should learn from the experience in Haiti, even if it didn't actually happen to us. Let's take someone else's experience and trials and consider how we can apply it to our lives... how we can mature, grow, deepen our own thoughts about life, relationships, and character. Maybe we should learn to be happy with what we have. They have nothing... nothing! We really do have everything compared to the Haitians. Let's stop wanting more and appreciate the excellent lives we currently live - compared to nothing...

My wife says the Haitians are a happy-people. Never complaining about what they do not have. Tami always felt a bit guilty when she would return from Haiti to her life of "excesses" back in the States. It's hard to believe they are still happy after 200,000 - 250,000 people have died, but maybe they have a perspective that we can't even imagine. I suppose so... I only hope that even I can learn from their experience about how important it is to appreciate being alive and loving others, while you can. It could all be gone... and at some point, it all will be....

Check out Northwest Haiti Christian Mission on the web.....

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