Saturday, January 16, 2010

Heart for Haiti~Always Hope

Today I am writing through my tears, spilled out of love. For my heart is in Haiti.

My heart longs to hold some of the thousands of sweet children who are hurt, traumatized, scared and suffering in Haiti. But I cannot be there.

So I’m doing what I can. It’s not much. But it’s what I know to do. It’s how I can give.

I know others feel exactly the same.

After several days of heartbreaking news, photos, videos and personal accounts of the tragedy and suffering in Haiti, we may feel emotionally exhausted, tempted to turn away, close to compassion burnout.

For those of us not in Haiti, it’s compounded by a feeling of helplessness. We are seeing such enormous need. We don’t know how we can make a difference.

The need is truly overwhelming. But one by one, we can help by doing whatever we can.

Today, on Day 5 after the earthquake, there are still staggering needs in Haiti.

Yet there is still enormous hope for Haiti.

That’s exactly why we have to stay strong right now. Keep giving. Keep praying. Keep getting the word out. Keep believing for miracles. Keep the faith.

Keep holding onto hope for Haiti.

I know how desperate the situation appears in the aftermath of the horrific 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti without warning on Tuesday.

Even the aftershocks registered nearly 6.0.

That alone would cause devastation in any nation.

But Haiti already was the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere.

There already were flimsy buildings everywhere. Now there are very few buildings standing and thousands of people killed or injured in the rubble of collapsed buildings.

There already was a tremendous lack of resources. Now the need is staggering.

Now there are an estimated 3 million people suffering from the earthquake and its grim devastation in Haiti.

From the moment I heard the news Tuesday, I thought of dear friends who travel regularly to Haiti serving at an orphanage there. I wondered if they were okay. I wondered if the children at the orphanage were alive.

I thought of the thousands of children in Haiti who already were orphaned before the earthquake. Now there are so many more, it completely breaks my heart. I dissolve into tears every time I think of those children alone and scared and suffering.

I finally found out on Friday that my friends are safe and all the children in their ministry’s orphanage survived. There was some damage to the orphanage building, but what matters is the children are safe and alive.

Yet I know that there are millions of people in Haiti now ~days later~ still suffering. Some are trapped beneath rubble. Some are desperately trying to rescue their friends and loved ones.

Thousands upon thousands of people are grieving and mourning their loved ones who already have died as a result of the earthquake, heartbroken by the sorrow of tremendous and sudden, shocking loss.

Haiti’s greatest physical needs now are food and clean water and safe shelter and medical attention.

Every minute that passes since the tragic earthquake, the emotional and spiritual needs in Haiti are growing in magnitude too.

For every child and adult in Haiti, including the many relief workers, the greatest need is for healing from the unimaginable trauma of what they have witnessed and survived and for love, comfort, mercy and compassion.

The graphic scenes of human suffering from Haiti seem overwhelming, but they are real and they are people in pain in need of our help. We cannot turn away.

Seeing the devastation and the depth of human suffering at its most raw as we are seeing right now in Haiti has the power to immediately unite our hearts for one common purpose. Our only purpose at a time such as this.

Wherever human beings are suffering, we each have a duty. It is simple and profound.

We are called to love.

Then we are called to put that love into action. To show compassion. To show mercy. To relieve suffering. To do whatever we can to bring healing. To bring hope.

Love in action is the only possible response at a time such as this.

Please do whatever you can to help the people of Haiti.

***In the aftermath of a horrific disaster such as the Haiti earthquake, the most effective way you can help is by helping well-established, legitimate, reputable non-profit relief organizations who are trained and ready to respond, especially those already working in Haiti.

I have researched and compiled a list of links directly to a few of those relief organizations that I know are working to bring supplies, medical aid and other help necessary to assist the people of Haiti.

Please give where you can. Please pray for all those trying to bring relief from suffering to the people of Haiti through love, compassion, medical care and practical assistance. Pray for transportation challenges as they work around the clock to get needed supplies and more trained personnel into a country where access is crippled.

Please pray for the babies and children in Haiti who are now orphaned or separated from their parents and relatives. Think of your own children as you hold them in your arms. Then please pray even more that God in his infinite mercy will hold the children of Haiti in his arms of love and comfort.

Please pray for all the people of Haiti, who are wounded in heart, spirit and body. They need us now more than ever.

Then please keep praying. Keep believing. Keep showing compassion. Keep loving. Keep hoping. Even in the midst of great heartache, there is always hope. Always HOPE.
~Luv, J.~

Red Cross~
**To make $10 donation to Red Cross, text-message HAITI to 90999.

Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF)~

Compassion International~

World Vision~

Samaritan’s Purse~

Mercy Corps~


Salvation Army

For more info on how to help Haiti, the New York Times compiled a more detailed list:

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