Monday, January 18, 2010

Devastation in Dreams

After watching the news right before bed, last night I dreamt about the earthquake devastation in Haiti. Honestly, I haven't watched the newscasts about Haiti much in the last 6 days since the catastrophe. It's just so overwhelmingly sad and horrific, and I end up just feeling helpless and depressed when I watch the news reports. Even if I did have the means and opportunity to go to Haiti on a relief mission, after seeing the looting and shooting and widespread violence going on in the midst of the disaster, I think I would be too scared to go there to help.

We do have a friend from our church, Debbie, who is actually in Haiti right now (you can visit her blog here). Strangely enough, she was there on a completely unrelated mission trip in a small village quite a distance from the capital. They felt the earthquake in her village and actually found it quite exciting until they started getting news of the devastation in Port-au-Prince. Now, instead of teaching the locals about ecology and nutrition as was the initial plan for her multi-week trip, she's helping her host family (an American woman and her Haitian husband who are missionaries with United Christians International) take in refugees. She said that everyone in the village has relatives in the capital, because it's where everyone goes for school and for a better life than can be found in the villages. Young people and their families save money for years just to move to Port-au-Prince, and now there's nothing left for them there. There were four young men from the village who were in school there who shared an apartment in the city--an apartment where they were all killed in the quake. There has been lots of mourning in the village since they found out the news, but there has also been rejoicing as they've heard news of locals surviving. One such story is in her post from today, which you should definitely read if you have time because it's quite amazing. Even yesterday, there were still a few happy endings like this one of people still being found alive in the rubble.

I can't even imagine how horrible it must be for the families who have lost loved ones in the disaster--loved ones that won't even get a proper burial in many cases. It's just so overwhelming, and it feels like there's so little we can do to help. Although I have been at least praying for the victims of the earthquake as well as the relief workers the last few days, this morning I did something else that I'd been meaning to do for days. I went to the website of my favorite international relief organization, Samaritan's Purse, and made a donation towards their Haiti relief efforts. Hopefully most Americans who are able will find some way to contribute to the relief effort as well.

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