I cannot believe that I am writing a blog about another earthquake in Haiti. Just a month after the President was assassinated, as no government really exists, and right before a Tropical Storm traveled directly over the epicenter of the earthquake. It is a really difficult thing to comprehend.
Just so you know, my family and I (Matt) are in the states and monitoring things from here. Our kids and employees are fine. They felt the earthquake and many of the aftershocks, but they were not in danger at any point.
The first thing that many of you are asking is how can you send money to the relief effort. It is important to know that All Things New is not a relief organization! We are not on the ground in the affected area, we do not have medical expertise, and we are not raising money for earthquake victims directly. It is not that we do not care about these victims, but we do care enough to know that we cannot help them as well as some other organizations can.
With all of that said, we have two organizations that we both trust and believe will do good work in the following days, weeks, and months of the relief effort. These are the 2 organizations we believe would be good to send money if you want to truly help Haitians:
1. Friends For Health in Haiti. This is a medical organization that our friends Jim and Sandy (HHM) told us about. They are already on the ground in Jeremie and do good work from a medical perspective. They are seeing a lot of patients and providing a lot of medical help from the earthquake. If you would like to give to them to help with medical relief from the earthquake, Please Click Here.
2. Samaritan's Purse. Many of you already know of Samaritan's Purse as they are a larger organization. They no longer have feet on the ground in Haiti, but they do have expertise in providing relief from natural disasters. This expertise, former presence in Haiti, and existing financial resources will make them capable and well-equipped to do things that other organizations will not be able to do. This earthquake is a higher scale disaster than anything else Haiti has experienced since 2010, and an organization like Samaritan's Purse is needed. To give to Samaritan's Purse, Please Click Here.
This earthquake did a lot of damage to Les Cayes, Jeremie, and the surrounding towns. The extent of the damage and the lives lost this past Saturday are still being calculated and I fear the final numbers are going to be hard to believe.
I also know that this brings back a lot of really bad memories for a lot of people, including the older kids at All Things New. I remember a few years ago when an earthquake hit in northern Haiti and we felt it pretty strongly in Gressier. By the time it even registered to me that it was an earthquake (I initially thought it was Mivinsley kicking my kitchen table again) all of our kids has sprinted out the door and they were all visibly scared and shaken. This will take a psychological toll on a lot of people.
In the end, I just cannot stop thinking, "Why?" Just in the short almost 10 years we have been in Haiti, it is difficult to comprehend all of the negative things they have seen, and then just a month after their President was assassinated, a deadly earthquake is quickly followed by a Tropical Storm.
I know that, as a follower of Christ, I am supposed to believe that GOD works everything for the good, that He loves the people of Haiti, and that He is a good and loving Father. I really do fully believe those things. I believe that Jesus died for us and I believe that if we put our faith in Him, we get to spend eternity in His presence. It is an incredible hope to have and an incredible truth to know.
But in my mind, I just keep wondering why it is like this. Why did Sophie get to start Kindergarten here with a wonderful teacher and at a great school? Why do we have so many options here when a natural disaster hits? Why do we get high quality public education? Why do we have Pastors who have been trained to teach GOD's Word and churches with incredible worship leaders and environments?
In short, why is Lener and his family setting up a tarp in their backyard because they are afraid that an earthquake is going to destroy their family over night and I am sitting in my air conditioned house about to go to sleep in relative safety and comfort...I just don't understand.
Why are the people who just lost their homes to an earthquake in Les Cayes now sleeping outside as a Tropical Storm dumps inches and inches of rain on them? Why did helicopters get grounded and recovery teams get held back when they are needed the most? Why is Haiti going through all of this with a non-functioning government as their President was just killed?
Finally, why is the only thing I can do right now for my brothers and sisters in Christ who are living through this is...Pray?
Let me know tell you what I believe about that...Never Say, "The Only Thing I Can Do Is Pray." Because when you pray. And I mean earnestly pray in faith to GOD...GOD listens. When GOD listens and pours down His blessings on His people, their lives are changed forever and for the better. When the Infinite is compared to the finite, the Good to the evil, the Perfect to the sinner, there is no comparison.
My plea to everyone reading this is to pray. Pray for Haiti, the earthquake victims, the relieve effort, All Things New, and anything else you can pray for in Haiti. And don't just give lip service to the prayer or do the normal, "I will say a quick prayer for Haiti"and then be done. I mean pray like someone is actually listening. Pray like someone who can do something about it is hearing the words that you say. Pray like there actually is a GOD in Heaven who loves us and gets involved in our lives. Pray like GOD is who He says He is...Because GOD is who He says He is!