The nation of Haiti may be over 7,000 miles away from Uganda, but today I'd like to simply use this blog as a means of pleading for the Haitian people. As one who has seen the developing world firsthand, I can only too clearly imagine the devastation and panic this massive earthquake wreaked upon this little nation. The news is full heartbreaking stories and unbelievable images.
I have been wondering what to do. I am sure many have been wondering what to do.
During my husbands absence this month (he's currently in Uganda), I had been planning to challenge myself by eating only from my pantry and limiting my trips to the grocery store to essentials. I was doing this in an effort to save some funds and clear out my overstocked cabinets.
As I look at my many boxes of cereal, cans of soup and stashes of snacks, I am convicted by the tremendous fortune I have to be able to not only give my family what they need today, but to inexpensively store up MORE than we need for the future. Yet there are so many women in Haiti...and also in Uganda...who struggle each regular day just to put something meager into the stomachs of their children. I take for granted just how much I have, and I too often forget those sisters who have nothing.
So I am deciding to immediately donate my weekly grocery budget to relief effort in Haiti. It isn't as much as I wish I had to give, but it is something. I wish everyone knew just how far even a few dollars can go in a developing nation. SO many hungry stomachs could be fed on what seems like insignificant change. When everyone gives a little, the sums add up fast!
I do want to say, though, that when crisis like this spring up, it is always incredible to see the sweeping response. But as one who works in full time poverty ministry, I often see that at the end of the day, when things quiet down, it is easy for us to slip back into our old routines and forget about our brothers and sisters suffering under the crushing hand of oppression and corruption. I hope and pray this disaster will only open people's eyes to the filth multitudes of families daily live in, the basic needs that are denied countless children and the trap of poverty that cripples and destroys much of the world's population.
Haiti needs us NOW. But they also need us TOMORROW. So hold onto these images and feelings in your heart and stir them to mind in the coming days when it is tempting to move on or become numb. Yes, the plight of the world's poor is frightening and difficult to get your head or heart around. But the plan Christ could have for you to be His hands and feet is far more powerful, exciting and beautiful than you could possibly imagine. Trust me. I know from experience.
Just as all the spare change and extra dollars given toward relief work and Haiti will add up, small and regular gifts toward orphan relief, community development and international mercy will add up to make a LARGE daily impact in the world. We could permanently dent hunger and provide the world with clean water if every Christian in America gave just a dollar or two a day. So simple and so amazing!
With that being said, I will say that I have personally chosen to give to Mission of Hope: Haiti, a smaller Christian non profit that I learned of through my childhood church. I deeply appreciate the BIG work being done by organizations like Samaritan's Purse, Compassion International, and World Vision, but as a director of a small non-profit, my heart lies with the "little guys."
The staff of Mission of Hope have long been in Haiti sacrificing their lives. And long after the reporters, peacekeepers and relief workers have moved on they will STILL be there...building the kingdom and loving people. Mission of Hope is giving to Haitians immediate needs right now, but a gift to them will ALSO empower their staff to keep serving in the coming days. Mission of Hope also has a local church. I personally think that is VERY important.
So this is me simply asking you all to send what you can or will, and to consider giving through Mission of Hope. Think about what you can possibly do differently this week or month in order to send something toward those who are hurting in Haiti.
Lastly, remember to pray for the future of Haiti. For many years it has been trapped in the bondage of darkness and oppression. I am making it my prayer that this disaster will shake many toward the hope that can be had in the light of Christ.