I feel pretty useless. Or maybe “powerless” is a better word. So many are suffering in Haiti and here I sit. I’ve sent my money to Compassion International and have texted so that the Red Cross would get $10. But it just seems too easy.
My fellow Christians have started bickering. Pat Robertson thinks God is judging Haiti. Don Miller disagrees with him and is gentle but firm in his approach. I just want to to call Pat an ass and tell him to shut-up. And now some of you are mad at me because I just used a mini-swear in my blog. Meanwhile bodies are decomposing in Haiti and aid is gridlocked. People are hungry, thirsty and without shelter or toilets.
My Twitter updates give me word from World Vision staff members on the ground in Port au Prince. They focus my prayer and make me grieve. The pictures coming out of Haiti bring my heart to my throat.
I’m useless. If I had medical skills would I respond? If I had some muscle instead of being just another obese American, would I work to get to Haiti? I want to believe I would. I actually think I would.
Working in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina changed me. I used to just watch television reports of disasters in a disconnected way. Now I see people in the disasters. I see families. I know they have names. Volunteering in New Orleans changed me.
Useless? Well, I guess if I truly believe that God is who He says He is, I am not useless. You’re not useless either. We can pray and we can act.
I heard word from Senator Susan Collin’s office yesterday that what is needed most is money for food, water, medical supplies and shelter. In fact, able-bodied volunteers are being turned away because Haiti can’t handle all of them. That fact came through clearly in the ironic Tweet I got yesterday from a new friend in Haiti.
“Those here before the quake sleep in the streets, those who arrived after sleep inside.”
We are not useless. We can act to raise funds. We can collect money in our workplaces and schools, do bottle drives and bring that jar of coins and the change in our cars to the bank to dump all the pennies in the coin counter to get funds to donate. Yes, our government is contributing $100 million dollars but if every person in America gave just one dollar we could triple that amount.
Be a leader. Pull people together. Make a difference in Haiti. Consider these options to provide help.
If you are wondering how to give to help Haiti, consider these options to give online.
Or use your cellphone:
Red Cross. You can use your cellphone to text “HAITI” to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross right now.
Emergency shelter and water… the next great need
If the Lord has blessed you abundantly with financial resources, why not consider providing shelter for a family? Or, challenge your church or youth group to provide at least one ShelterBox. A $1000.00 gift provides:
• One 49 gallon box (The Shelterbox) initially the container for delivery of the materials listed below. Once delivered, can be used as water tank, food store, cot, table, etc.
• One ten-person tent, including two fabric interior privacy partitions, outer fly-sheet and repair kit. These tents are considered ‘winter suitable’ by international relief standards.
• Vinyl insulated sleeping mats and lightweight thermal blankets. More compact than sleeping bags, these mats and blankets have multiple uses. The blanket can also be fashioned to catch water, as a tarp, etc. while the mat also serves as a ground ‘table’ for meals, or tent rugs.
• One pack of 180 water purification tablets or a water purification kit; and one 5 gallon flat-pack water container (Each tablet will purify a full container of water providing 1,800 gallons of clean drinking water which should be sufficient for a family of ten for up to three months).
• Two 2.1 gallon, collapsible, plastic water carriers.
• One collapsible trenching shovel
• Rope, 164 foot
• Repellant-treated mosquito netting
• Ten PVC Ponchos/ ten HD plastic bags
• Tool kit in canvas bag: hachet, jack-knife, screwdriver, hammer, hoe head etc.
• Multi-fueled cook stove
• Eating utensils: enamel plates/cups
• Children’s activity kit-simple school supplies, stickers and coloring book