Archives For haiti

Our gravitational pull is toward numb.  It is just not possible to sustain gut-wrenching emotion.  So when suffering outlasts our natural capacity for compassion, we need to intentionally remind ourselves.  Feel it again.

It has been over a month since the earthquake. Conditions on the ground are worse, not better, in many cases.  As time slips by, I have had my eyes open for a couple of tangible ways people can help.  Here are two that are inspiring to me:

A Home in Haiti

This organization is meeting the immediate needs of homeless families by providing waterproof tents as shelter from the sun and the coming rainy season.  The rainy season officially begins in 4 days.  Many families have no shelter – or are trying to huddle under sheets held up by sticks.  If you want to make a life-changing difference in somebody’s RIGHT NOW reality, buy a tent.  Donate money.  200,000 tents are needed to erradicate homelessness in Haiti right now.

Click here to learn more and to help.

Help Haiti Live

A February 27th concert sponsored by Compassion International, streaming live, raising money and awareness of the brokeness and the need in Haiti.  To learn more about this event, click here to visit the Help Haiti Live website.  I have a part of my heart reserved for Compassion International.  We sponsor a boy in Tanzania through Compassion.  They have done so much good in Jesus’ name for the least and the marginalized and the small… it boggles the mind.  I trust Compassion International – their track record is impeccable for fiscal responsibility and minimization of administrative costs.  If you want to help in a long-term, bricks and mortar kind of way, give generously to this fundraising effort by Compassion.

As an artist I have been moved by the beautiful work and art of the designers, musicians, and technicians working in symbiosis to help us feel.  Brad Ruggles design on the Help Haiti Live site is gorgeous.  The music from Provident Label Group above gave me goosebumps.  The video work is outstanding.  But it isn’t about the art.  It is about FEELING.  Artists help the Church feel what is important.  And feeling motivates action.  At the end of the day, it is easiest to block out the suffering of people we will never meet, in a place we may never go.  But Jesus love is global.  And we are the Church.  So we must love.  And love without action can hardly be  love at all.

Creative Commons License
“when the shock turns numb :: haiti now” by Joshua Skogerboe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

You can watch the world in real time now. Google Earth.  Twitter updates.  Blog posts.  All avenues to see the pain in Haiti.  At some point tonight, amid a mix of posts about cookies and Conan O’Brien and the crisis in Haiti (all coming from me), something turned my stomach.  No more trivia right now.  People are dying, and others with broken bones have no medical help.  Water is in short supply.  Infection will set in soon for thousands more.  The next window of history in Haiti will be dark.  But Jesus has hands and feet world-wide.  The Church (big “C”) can help.

I have not posted here about Haiti before now because several other bloggers I follow have done such a great job already.  But I realize that maybe YOU have not read those posts.  Maybe YOU will find out what you need to know here.  Maybe God is nudging YOU to move.  Right now.

First of all, my wife and I have discussed the fact that it is hard to “feel” this scale of tragedy far away unless you actively pursue being uncomfortable.  Look at the destruction.  That’s not your home or mine, but it is somebody’s home.  Look at the broken legs and bleeding kids.  Those aren’t your kids or mine, but they are somebody’s kids.  This may be the most widely linked set of pictures available from the first 24 hours or so after the quake, but if you have not yet intentionally looked deeply and felt deeply, go HERE. (from Boston.com)

Secondly, there are many good ways to help.  Many organizations are on the ground now, doing all they can.  There’s no “best answer” here – just pick an avenue and get involved.  Our church, Living Hope in St. Michael-Albertville, MN, is partnering with WorldVision, one of the first responders after the quake.  Click on the banner to donate:

If not WorldVision, how about the Red Cross? Something so simple…  send a text message and donate $10 automatically.  Blip!  Done.  As of last night (January 14), the Red Cross had already raised over $6 million by text.  Here’s how:  text the phrase “HAITI” to the number 90999 and donate $10 to the Red Cross. The amount is charged to your cell phone bill.

Want to help AND do it in the name of Jesus?  Text the phrase “disaster” to the number 90999 and donate $10 to through Compassion International. I included a link to Compassion earlier in this post – a big huge blue box of a link.  Can’t miss it.  Amy and I have sponsored a boy from Tanzania through Compassion for years.  We hold them in very high regard.  They have established an efficient network to get help where it is needed, minimizing administrative costs.  If you choose to help through Compassion International, here’s what happens with your gift:

  • $35 helps provide a relief pack filled with enough food and water to sustain a family for one week.
  • $70 gift helps care for their needs for two weeks.
  • $105 helps provide relief packs filled with enough food and water to sustain two families for two weeks.
  • $210 gift helps care for two families’ needs.
  • $525 provides relief packs filled with enough food and water to sustain 10 families for two weeks.
  • $1,050 gift cares for 10 families’ needs.
  • $1,500 helps rebuild a home.
  • $2,100 supplies 20 families with the basics for three weeks.
  • I’ll end with this… I drink coffee all day.  I drive wherever I want.  We struggle to choose which nationality of food stuff to eat for supper each evening.  America is draped in comfort – even on our hardest days.  That American comfort has a numbing effect on our desperation meter.  Real people right now are trapped, thirsty, wounded, terrified, desperate.  Don’t let your comfortable chair and the glow of your laptop lull you out of reality.  Stop what you’re doing.   Pray for God’s comfort and mercy.  Pray for miracles.  May the endless well of God’s provision and love meet the deep cries for help in Haiti. Right now.  Amen.

    Creative Commons License
    “if not now, when? :: deep cries out to deep in haiti” by Joshua Skogerboe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.