We have been praying for Haiti for sooo long, many have been praying for Haiti much longer than I have and yet every year it seems like things are getting worse. Every few months another crisis on top of the normal difficulties of life and it feels like we are always praying for Haiti.
Since I've been coming to Haiti in 2008 Haiti has seen earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, fuel shortages, drought, political unrest, cholera, a sharp increase in gangs, murders and a president assassinated. That is on top of extreme poverty.
It really takes you to see poverty to get some kind of grasp of what it means. Even I, who live here, who visit people in their homes, who treat people with medical problems cannot get my head around how ANYONE survives.... Even those with jobs. Many people think that because a country is poor living expenses must be cheap. This is not true for Haiti. I simply cannot believe the price of food in Haiti. Since last March this is how some of the things I buy has changed.
A bottle of mayonnaise - doubled
A cabbage - doubled
Carrots - 50% increase
A packet of spaghetti - doubled
A box of eggs - 50% increase
Pretty much everything is more expensive and not just by a few pennies.
Just take a moment to think how your monthly budget would be affected if the price of the food you buy had increased, some of it by 50% and a lot of it doubled.
Then every year the school fees increase. Different schools charge different things but I know they are pretty much all expensive. Many people are telling me the entrance fees are 15,000-20,000 gourdes ($150 - $200 US). On top of that parents are responsible for buying uniforms, shoes, school bags, lunchboxes, school books and the fees for each trimester. After that many kids need money for transportation everyday and lunch.
When you do the maths, it's just not possible.
I was talking with a friend last week about this very thing and I said ' You know if you add up everything you spend in a month then look at what you have earned....' right there he interrupted me and shook his head, laughing and said 'no no you can't do that, God provides.' I said the same thing to Yverose who responded with 'It's God he does miracles.'
So you may wonder what this has got to do with prayer. As I thought over my response to
'pray for Haiti' I began to realise that God is answering prayers, it's just maybe not in the way we want him or expect him to.
He is answering prayers for so many children whose parent's absolutely cannot afford the school fees yet somehow He provides.
He is answering prayers for the many families who have no income. Can I just empahise that. ZERO income. NOTHING. There is NO job seekers, NO benefits and there are simply millions of people with no jobs. How do they live? I have NO idea but many of them do. Again He provides.
He is answering prayers for strength, courage, energy and resilience for the people of Haiti. I am telling you I have never met a people in my life who have been through what the people of Haiti have been through and yet they keep going. Even in the midst of immense suffering there is joy.
Then my mind turned to the 2010 earthquake and the many people I worked with throughout 2010 and how the Lord answered prayer for them.
There was Lucner's brother who was trapped all night. One by one his classmates grew silent and soon he was the only one left alive and he was rescued. Lucner travelled down to Port au Prince to find him, in the middle of utter chaos he somehow, miraculously, found him and brought him back to Cap Haitian. He had no movement in his right arm from being trapped under blocks and Lucner brought him to me to treat him. I had no idea what I was doing but 6 weeks later he had full movement and strength in his arm. Many many answers to prayers.
I thought of a young girl who I treated in Milot, who was trapped under the rubble for 21 days. Yes you read that correctly. She was trapped for THREE weeks with no food and sometimes a drip of water which fell through from outside. She should have died, she should have never been found but she was and six months after being in hospital in Cap, she returned to Port au Prince. Many, many answers to prayer.
I thought of the little baby born in Milot, so very kindly named after Hannah and I - Julieanna. Her mum was trapped under a building for days, she lost her leg and even with being trapped, plus the stress, plus an amputation, 6 months later baby Julieanna was born, a beautiful little girl with no problems. Many, many answers to prayer.
I thought of Sterlina, only 14 years old, alone in the children's ward with her family presumed dead. She had her leg amputated and even after she was better she lived at the hospital for months before being moved to an orphanage in Cap Haitian. She was so reserved, devastated and traumatized by what she had experienced and was now living in a city she had never been in with people she had never met. By the end of the year the red Cross had found her family and she was on her way back to Port au Prince to be united with them. Many, many answers to prayer.
Honestly I could go on and on. Miracle after miracle.
So, like me, please don't grow weary or tired of praying for Haiti. Although we may not see what we are asking for God is answering prayers throughout Haiti and it is truly through His people that Haiti will transform.
Tonight the situation in the south of Haiti is bad. The death toll now stands at over 1300, with almost 6000 injured and an unknown number unaccounted for. Aftershocks continue and everyone is sleeping outside in the street either because they have lost their homes or they are too scared to sleep inside for fear of more shaking.
Hospitals are crowded and medical supplies are scarce. There are some organizations on the ground working to evacuate people to different hospitals throughout Haiti and I believe some patients have already been evacuated. There is an immediate need for food, water, shelter and medical care.
If you want to give please please research who you are giving to. If the 2010 earthquake taught us anything its that is it much better to give to small organizations who are already working in Haiti. It is also better to buy food, water and supplies in Haiti than to have them shipped in. If you need any advice on who or how to give please get in touch with me.
And finally please continue to pray.
- Pray for help to come soon.
- Pray for those trapped, that they would be found, quickly.
- Pray for those in need of medical care - that they would find it.
- Pray for food, water and shelter to arrive quickly.
- Pray for those involved in the rescue mission, digging through block by block with their bare hands. Pray for strength and more equipment to arrive.
- Tropical depression Grace is now headed for Haiti arriving tomorrow (Monday) and is predicted to bring flooding. Pray for divine intervention. Thankfully Grace has already been downgraded from a tropical storm to a tropical depression.
- Pray for comfort and strength for those affected.
- Pray for other affected by PTSD from the 2010 earthquake.
Thank you for interceding for the people of Haiti once again.