Haiti: A Land of Desperation and Need

Posted by Andrew Groves | Posted in | Posted on Thursday, January 14, 2010

Believe it or not, this post was originally going to be about the late night power struggle between Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien, and the ever-bungling National Broadcasting Company (NBC). But as I began to write, I realized that while this late night brouhaha is entertaining, in the grand scheme of things, it means very little.

This past Tuesday, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck the island nation of Haiti, decimating the capital of Port-au-Prince and killing upwards of 40,000 people. The dire situation in Haiti can be summed up in these words from Haiti's president: "Parliament has collapsed. The tax office has collapsed. Schools have collapsed. The hospitals have collapsed."

The more and more I read the newspaper, browse Internet articles, and watch the news, my heart cries out for the people of Haiti. There is so much fear and death. There is so much heartache and need. All of this in a place that is only 700 miles from my front porch in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and yet it feels so far away.

The nation of Haiti is very close to my heart. Three years ago, I traveled to Haiti on a mission trip, and I can honestly say that I am a different person because of that trip. Haiti is one of the poorest nations on the face of the earth. According to most sources, around 80% of Haiti's population lives in poverty, with the majority of Haitians living off of roughly $2 per day. And Haiti is one of the most spiritually dark nations on the face of the earth. Vodou and witchcraft are regularly practiced alongside other religions, pointing to a deep spiritual need existing there.

So why am I writing this? To make you feel bad? No. To guilt you into doing something? Certainly not. I am writing this to the body of Christ to encourage action. This action is not motivated by guilt; rather, it is motivated by the following command.

"Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world." -James 1:27

In addition to this, the scriptures say these things.

"What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, be warmed and filled,' without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead." -James 2:14-17

"Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves." -James 1:22

So what is my point? Undoubtedly, very few of us can pack up and head to Haiti to help with the earthquake aid. Besides, that is not what I am suggesting anyway. What I am suggesting is that we, as a community of believers, as the body of Christ, lift up the nation of Haiti in prayer. There is power in prayer, and we are commanded to pray. I am also suggesting that, if you are financially able, you find an organization like Compassion International or World Vision that you can contribute money to in an effort to help with the earthquake aid. Every little bit counts.

Lastly, I want to stress that this post is not intended to guilt you into giving away money. In fact, if giving away money is your way of making yourself feel better, don't do it. For, as the scriptures say, "Each one must give as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." -II Corinthians 9:7

Comments Posted (2)

  1. Found your blog through your Mom's. Beautiful post.

  2. Hi Andrew,
    I came over from your mom's blog. Thank you for sharing your heart. Hearing such words written by someone my son's age touches my heart deeply.

    Thanks too for sharing the links and, above all, the Scripture passages.

    Very relevant.