Help Haiti - We Can Do It!
To help Haiti is a worthy goal, but Haitian relief is much more complicated than it might appear. The real question is HOW to help Haiti? Natural disasters such as the Haitian earthquake that occurred recently always make us want to help, especially if we know the Lord.
Certainly now, after this earthquake, that help is desperately needed, but what can we do? The needs are above and beyond our human capacity to offer help in many ways.
Since word of the earthquake reached us about a week ago, I've been pondering these questions. I'd like to share with you the conclusions I've come to as I've thought and prayed about how we can be of help. Some of the most important ways to help Haiti are things we all can do, but others are things that only some will be able to do.
This lovely house in Haiti is where the Shelpmans, missionaries we know on the island, lived and worked. The orphanage they worked in was located on the bottom floor, and they lived in an apartment on the top floor.
After the first tremors, as you can see in the upper right picture, extensive damage was obvious in the building's supporting columns. The Shelpmans decided to sleep outside although they were hopeful the building might survive.
The decision to spend the night outdoors proved to be providentially guided, since another tremor at 2:30 a.m. caused the building to collapse. The bottom right picture shows the ruins of the building photographed the next morning.
The mission says the cost of this building alone was $60,000 when it was built. It will undoubtedly be more expensive to replace. This is just one small example of why we need to help Haiti.
Help Haiti with Prayer not Pity
When we see pictures of devastation like those above, or on the evening news, it is easy to feel sorry for the Haitians, but pity doesn't help anyone. Many of us have probably uttered a short one line prayer, something like:
"God, please help those poor people!"
That is undoubtedly helpful, but it doesn't last a lot longer than the time it takes us to say it. The kind of prayer that will bring help to Haiti is consistent regular prayer.
We need to pray specifically for the people in Haiti, and the tremendous needs they are facing. We should pray the Lord will provide:
- missionaries to teach them of God's love so they can come to know Christ as Savior. Without Christ, at the end of this life, they'll have nothing no matter how many physical needs may have been met right now.
- food and water
- medical help
- the ability to find lost loved ones
- strength to endure the difficulties they must face
- courage to live with the loss of loved ones and physical possessions (of course their possessions are far less than ours, but that makes them more necessary as well)
- love for their fellow countrymen
- opportunities to help others
- opportunities to work and earn a living
- character to make difficult decisions
- strength and stamina for relief workers
- wisdom and strength for medical workers
- enough emergency workers and resources to meet the needs
- wisdom to plan and distribute needed food and water
- equipment and tools needed for search and rescue, as well as relief supplies
If we really want to participate in Haitian relief, this is a way to do it consistently. Praying like this will provide long term help to Haiti as long as we continue to do it.
Help Haiti by Giving not Griping
No one has a perfect life. For example this week my husband had to put new brakes on his truck and we had to replace the tires on our van. In all, the bill came to over a thousand dollars. Since we are less then two weeks away from leaving on our next short term mission trip to Puerto Rico, and we are on a fixed income, the first tendency was to think,
"Why now? Will there be enough money for our trip? What's going to happen next?"
But when I compare my life to that of the Haitians, I realize I need to be thanking the Lord for all his blessings!
We have a van, a truck, a warm house, plenty of clothes, and so much to eat that we need to watch our weight!
I've been asking myself, what could I sacrifice so that I'll have more money to share with the Haitians?
Of course, there are all kinds of ways to give, but I would recommend you give through a Christian mission agency or your local church. Three good mission agencies I know of are:
- Baptist International Missions Incorporated - The web address for the page where you can donate is this page on Haitian relief. You can also read an article from their missionaries in Haiti on that page.
- Baptist Mid Missions - Please click on the following link to read their page about Haitian relief efforts.
I've known the missionary serving with them since I was in high school. I was relieved to hear that he and his wife are OK, although their orphanage and home were destroyed.
This is not their page for giving, but for news, however there is a link on the page to the page where you can give.
- Association of Baptists for World Evangelism - You can visit their page giving news on Haitian Relief efforts by clicking on the preceding link. The page provides opportunities to give on-line as well as an explanation of how funds are spent.
This list is not exhaustive. There are many other worthy mission organizations operating in Haiti, but I know these I've mentioned are good Bible-believing and teaching organizations, so they would be good choices for donations.
Help Haiti by Going...
If You are Able and Have the Opportunity
If you know missionaries who need help, be ready and willing to go. We are leaving for Puerto Rico in two weeks, but we may be going to Haiti six months from now, or in a year.
The needs of the Haitian people will not be solved in a few weeks or months. There will be ongoing needs there for years to come. We know of several Haitian orphanages destroyed in the quake, and I'm sure hospitals and other service buildings were also devastated.
We are willing to go to Haiti to help if the Lord opens the doors for us to do so. I trust you will have the same attitude, if other responsibilities don't make it impossible. If you do, the Lord will send us to help when we can truly be of the greatest help to the people there.
Now is too early to go, unless you are skilled in search and rescue, in disaster relief operations, or in medicine. But later on they will need plenty of help to rebuild their lives and country.
Very few of us can go to Haiti to help...
But most of us can pray and give.
What does God want you to do to help Haiti?
That is a question that each person must answer for himself. My prayer is that we will all consider the question and do what we can to help.
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