Thoughts on Haiti

The ground shook in Haiti last week. The ground shook and many, many lives were lost. The ground shook and a nation that was already the poorest in the Western Hemisphere became a horrific war zone.

The Haitian people came into my heart last April when I spent a week there. I was inspired by their strength and their hope, and how they are such survivors in poverty and turmoil. Not only do they survive, but they all have dreams. Dreams for their future and dreams for their country.

When I reflect upon Haiti I think about the people I met... how they quickly became some of the greatest people I have ever known. I remember lots of laughter... Haitians know how to have a good laugh... moments of laughing so hard my cheeks hurt... what unexpected bliss. I remember vibrant colors and gorgeous mountains matched with serious poverty and deforestation. There were so many precious children that never seemed to cry... they learn at a young age not to cry over things that don't matter, for there is no time for that... their eyes shined with great sorrow but also joy. God was so present at every moment, in every face. It was somehow easier to see that there. Every face a story, every story one of hardship few understand in America, but also a story of survival and courage. There was a general spirit of appreciating the moment. And there was pain in many places, but beauty was never far away. I could go on and on.

When I first got the news of the earthquake, my heart truly broke. How could this happen to people who already faced such suffering? And to people that I had grown to love. Why so many precious lives lost? So I prayed. And tried to understand. Cried. Prayed. Wednesday at the prayer vigil we discussed how God wastes nothing. There is peace in that. God wastes nothing. God is present. God is sovereign.

We have a responsibility to stand beside our brothers and sisters in Haiti. I believe that they will recover because their spirit of survival and hope will prevail. But this is our time to come alongside them with support. What they need right now is financial resources for emergency relief. As much as some of us would like to be there in country to help, what is needed is monetary support so relief agencies and organizations can do their imperative work. What they need in the long term is for us not to forget them, but to continue to walk with them while they recover and rebuild. With disasters like this it seems that there is much attention and financial resources provided right when it happens, but as time goes on we slowly forget. We move on and we assume that things have gotten better. The rebuilding of Haiti will be a very long, painful and grueling process. I pray that we choose to be apart of the entire journey. I believe that if we stand together Haiti has the potential to rebuild better than before. Maybe that will be the miracle that comes out of this tragedy.

If you haven't already, please consider making an emergency relief donation to the Haitian Timoun Foundation (HTF). 100% of your donations go directly to the Haitian people that so desperately need it. At the time of this writing, HTF is focusing on providing relief to the city of Jacmel. Jacmel was also devastated by the earthquake, but has gotten less attention than Port au Prince. Major help is starting to come in, but HTF's continued support is still very important there.

Also, please prayerfully consider making a recurring donation to HTF, so that they receive the support they need in the long term recovery. God has blessed us so that we can be a blessing. This is a moment for that.

And pray. Pray and keep praying.

"Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit." 1 John 4: 11-13

--Heavenly Father, as we see the catastrophe in Haiti on our TV screens, we pray for our brothers and sisters in Haiti. Lord have mercy on them. Please comfort those facing tremendous loss and pain. God, I pray that relief would reach those who need it. And that they would be reached very soon. I pray that you would comfort the earthquake victims and surround them with your love. Help us to be your vessels that stand with the Haitian people not just today, but in the long term. Help us to know that you have blessed us so much for a reason. So we can help provide them with the resources and prayers that they need. I pray for those entering Haiti to help, that you would give them the access and ability to do so. God, I pray for Haiti, for peace, for recovery, for relief. Lord have mercy. Amen.--

Grace & Peace,
Amanda Jensen

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