I have a confession. I haven’t been thinking about Haiti enough. My thoughts, as they often are, seem to be consumed with my life, what’s going on in my country, my world, my family, my home, my job (which is even partly to think about Haiti), COVID numbers… the list goes on.
Tens of thousands of homes, buildings, and churches were damaged or destroyed in the Aug. 14 earthquake that struck Haiti's southern peninsula.
I want my concern for others, especially those who are suffering, to be my natural, first instinct response. But I’m selfish, and Haiti’s crisis does not hold its rightful place as first in my thoughts.
It seems like the world is not thinking about Haiti enough either.
Why is that? Are we desensitized to suffering, disasters, violence, poverty, and now see these tragedies as the norm?
I’ve been there—to Les Cayes, the hardest hit city on the southern peninsula in Haiti. I’ve been to Haiti several times, but I visited Les Cayes in 2012. It’s beautiful and hard there. It’s where I put my feet in the turquoise Caribbean waters, and ate fresh fish that came from those waters alongside fried plantain. And it’s where I met some beautiful people who have lived really hard lives.
The southern peninsula of the backwards C-shaped island is often in the direct path of Atlantic storms that form to the south and creep slowly north, gaining strength and sucking up water before unleashing furious wind and lashing rain on this and other defenseless islands.
But until the morning of August 14, earthquakes were not in the minds of many living along the southern coast. In fact, some moved from Port au Prince after the 2010 quake devastated the city, in search of safety. Their worlds were once again shaken to the core when the minute-long quaking jolted them awake.
Marie Yolene lost her 14-year-old daughter in the earthquake.
It wasn’t until I saw the face of a distraught mother yesterday in a video our field staff shot—the vacant look of trauma in her eyes—that I was jolted awake and reminded of what’s happening in Haiti right now.
This mom, Marie, who lost her 14-year-old daughter, Marilyn, is one of thousands who lost loved ones, homes, everything.
Her circumstances and pain deserve my full attention. If nothing else, I need to pray. I need to move the people impacted by this crisis to the top of my prayer list, every day, and throughout the day.
I moved recently and while unpacking boxes, I came across this painting. I bought it in 2012 from a man who was selling his artwork on the street in Haiti. I’m going to finally frame it and hang it in my home so I can remember Haiti. Every day.
We invite you to pray with us for people suffering in Haiti, and elsewhere in the world. Visit our prayer page to join us and let us know how we can pray for you. www.worldconcern.org/prayer
If you’d like to help families affected by the earthquake in Haiti, please visit www.worldconcern.org/haiti.