Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A "New Day" coming for Haiti

It's hard for me to stay in "Shutdown mode" but after such a great world wide tragedy. I felt I had to do it. I was so heavy hearted that I just couldn't go on as if nothing was better in life than "my little world."

Not when there was this going on.

And this............
But especially with this happening.

I can't stand it. It hurts me inside to see human suffering.

Bricks and wood can be rebuilt......but lives are harder to reconstruct. Especially if they have no where to turn to.
Haiti has impacted our world because of the major earthquake that hit there a week ago now.

Tonight at the dinner table Mrs. Priss, Mr. Joshua, Luke, my husband Don and I were all discussing the "What is next for Haiti" questions and the "Why did people give more money world wide to help the Haitians, than they did for the Tsunami and for Hurricane Katrina???"

I can't answer "what will become of Haiti?"
I can only state that in my heart I feel that is an AWESOME opportunity for radical change for Haiti.

I feel that this will be a good chance for the government that has struggled with so much corruption and rebellion to be rebuilt along with the country and it's people.

Many, many people will stream into Haiti to help them. The country will be "teaming" with groups from all walks and nations that will go to be there and comfort them and help like never before. We will see this happening like never before and actually it's already begun.

As for the "Why have people all over the world contributed more money to Haiti than towards the Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina?"

A strong question we were all pondering....we felt it could be that even though Hurricane Katrina was the most terrible disaster to ever hit America's shores. We can only conclude that people's hearts are warmer towards one of the poorest nations on the earth. Unlike America who has wealth and a stable government.
The rational is totally understandable.

We ourselves as Louisiana natives watched our TV in our front room DURING Hurricane Katrina and breathed a sigh of relief when it finally passed New Orleans only to head our way. Our city of Baton Rouge is only 50 miles north of New Orleans.

Then our power failed because Katrina was now pounding us....we then turned to our trusty, little battery operated radio that was positioned on our kitchen table. We listened in HORROR as we heard the radio broadcasters tell of the "Levies breaching" in New Orleans and of the "Hole in the Super Dome Roof" and all the current wide spread destruction that was happening.
We felt helpless. Our own people were in trouble and we couldn't do a thing at that moment to help them.

We had no ideal what would unfold in the days after the hurricane left our region.

After Katrina had left...with no power and only through the help of a generator...we pressed on. But our city and our lives were about to be majorly impacted.

As we still struggled in our own household with no power, we went to work with our church to help in the relief effort that was begining to take place.

The Haitians can't do that. They can't press on yet. Because they are devastated. The people of New Orleans or Biloxi, and Gulfport couldn't press on immediately because they had no means by where to do so.
Their houses and infrastructure were totally gone. Some of their loved ones dead.

After Katrina, my husband was able to go into the New Orleans Airport and work with a special team that was able to go in and do some work there.
The N.O. Airport was used as a "morgue for the dead" and for "flying out injured people" as well as "evacuating people to other places."
My husband worked with those that were leaving..the injured and uninjured. But I think they were all injured in some way...maybe you just couldn't see it on the outside like you could some of the others.
Our best friends helped another team at the airport place "toe tags" on the deceased and "zip up body bags." They were sad for days over that experience. Both our friends and my husband.
It was surreal.

My husband also stayed in a local church "Shelter" full of Katrina evacuees so as to give the regular workers a "break" so they could have a good nights sleep. He came home unnerved after listening to their screams of torment in the night. All these these things were not easy for him but it was something that had to be done.

I was the one in the family who gathered spare clothes, bought new pillows, and meds to take to the drop off sites at our church to be distrubuted to those in need.

All the while we both worked full time jobs...and took care of our own children...and dealt with Katriana issues of our own. And tried to cope with the "changes to our own city" which took in some estimated 300 thousand people plus nearly overnight before Katrina arrived on land. Traffic became snarled and out of control.

Everyone we knew got involved somehow to whatever degree that they could. This was what we wanted to do. No one forced us.

So we have understanding and compassion for hard situations.

In regards to Haiti...we need to realize that this is an impact on an entire Nation.

America wasn't a "Third World Nation" when it was hit by Katrina.

Haiti was a "Third World Nation" before this quake hit. Sadly they were so in need BEFORE it ever happened, making this all the bigger travesty.

Even though it looked like we here in American were as well during those following days after the hurricane struck...as we watched "bloated bodies float the streets of New Orleans and saw the U.S. Army come in and over take because the violence that was happening in the city of New Orleans was so out of control." It sure didn't seem like our "America" at the time.

We lived through Katrina and we saw it's after effects FIRST HAND...and we still see the effects today.
The Mississippi and Louisiana Gulf coasts will never be the same. I'm not talking about actual "ground" as in the coast line...I'm talking cities, towns, and people.

But likewhat which WILL happen in Haiti and unlike nothing we had ever seen here in America before prior to "9/11."

We saw people rally for EACH OTHER!!!
We saw the churches and all sorts of organizations come alive and help our State and the other States that were impacted by Katrina's wrath.

We watched group after group, from all over America and world wide come to our part of the world and help to tear down and to rebuild. And it was, and is still amazing.....because they are still coming. Just not in droves like before, but they do still come.

Yes, much more relief help is needed in Haiti than was needed in New Orleans...or in Mississippi but we (America) are not a "third world" country and we can rebuild ourselves to some degree. This is probably WHY we see so much international aid coming into Haiti and they will need to KEEP doing this for years to come really. We are not bitter for that.

I am sick and tired of reading and watching "editorialist" TRY to compare the two tragedies and I wish they would stop because there is no comparison and WHY do we want to even compare such heartaches?

Speaking of "Aid".......if you are wanting to give towards the Haitian relief efforts and do not know "WHO" to give to.

I have a few suggestions......

Besides your local church or non profit organizations that you know of, some entire cities are getting involved in helping so check in your local area and see what is happening.

Try these groups.
***Convoy of Hope***
(Our money went to them) They were already there on the ground prior to the earthquake even, feeding 7000 children a day in Haiti. We know this organization and it is trustworthy.

***Samaritans Purse*** This is Franklin Graham's non profit organization which has done wonderful things all over the world. They are there on the ground working in Haiti.

***Love A Child***......this is an non profit organization that is and was already on the ground in Haiti.

Our own church here in Baton Rouge has done a "medical supply drive" that will be sent down to Haiti in a few days. People all over our city have come together and gotten on board with this effort. So we purchased supplies as well and took them over to the drop site for this.

Everyone can do something be it little or big.
Every bit helps.
You can pray, you can give......you can GO at some point.

We are doing all those things. Hopefully....we can go too when the time is right and if it God's Will.

I've seen in my life that "Being involved in other people's lives who may never be able to 'thank you' is so rewarding."

6 comments:

Valentine Hearts said...

just awful, words aren't enough. Wishing I could do more than donate x

Southern Touch Catering said...

You have a big Heart Joyce. God will bless you and your caring will earn you many crowns in Heaven.

Andrea said...

Hello, Joyce! You have such a lovely, compassionate heart! It must be a sweet sacrifice to the Lord, as I know it pleases Him.

The condition of Haiti is very heartbreaking! I feel so sorry for the people there, especially the children.

God is faithful, and as we pray, He can bring triumph to Haiti, even in the midst of tragedy.

May God bless you for your faithfulness!

In His Love,

Andrea

Charlotte said...

Boy I know what you mean. Any complaint I may have seems so small and insignificant in light of this tragedy.

The Urban Chic said...

Joyce, you are such a kind hearted person and your post was very touching. As I watched and saw this 9 year old orphaned girl sitting on a curb, it was all I could do but cry and wish we could get her here. WE don't have much to offer her, but love and a roof over her head, food and clothing, and a good education. But you have to have money to adopt these children which is a crime in my opinion. Just because one is not rich does not mean they can't care for another. We raised our children on 2 salaries, but now with only one, they would not even give us a thought. Another good organization that gives 100% of what they collect is Our Lady of the Lake and Lourdes. We have a female doctor here who is trying to go with supplies and other doctors to help, but they can't cut through the red tape. It's really sad because she is a great peditrician. My blessings and prayers go out to all the people of Haiti. I am blessed with little I have and often take it for granted, but never again---it's only material things that can be replaced---life is precious and can't ever be replaced. So many children without parents there or families, so they live on the streets. God Bless you for your wonderful post. Love and Hugs, Pat.

sister sheri said...

We joined with Convoy of Hope, too. Our church is doing a special offering on Easter, too, for Haiti. We are encouraged to give one days salary. Too bad I don't have a salary...maybe I could sell a homemade scarf or something...