Saturday, January 8, 2011

What is the answer?

Today a nice Haitian pastor named Lionel drove Dean and me around the city a bit. When I came to Haiti the first time I didn't get the chance to go downtown or see the capital. Of course it all looks very different now because of the earthquake. The palace (I think that's what they call it?), is much like our White House. It is, or was, a source of pride for the Haitian people. It, of course, still looks the way it did minutes after the earthquake hit. It's still in ruins and there doesn't seem to be any attempts at this point to do anything with it.

Directly across the street is a large tent/shanty town. Today I saw row after row and city after city of tents and shacks. Not just across the street from the palace but up and down Delmas Street and close to Main Street. And, I'm told I didn't see the worst part of it. It's a bit overwhelming unless you just shrug it off and don't think about it. There are thousands of people and some say close to a million people living in conditions like that. It's hot, dirty and very congested. It is difficult to get access to drinkable water and there is no sewer system. It is a very dangerous place, especially at night and especially for women.

What is the answer?

As a Christian I am called to help those people. They are hurting, big time. If Christ were here what would he do? My initial answer is just to focus on a smaller group of people and do what I can to help them. But it seems so...small.

Pray for Haiti. It's really complex. There are many issues, it seems, keeping this country from moving forward. Today Dean asked Lionel what has changed in the last 30 years in Haiti. Lionel said "Nothing" and then continued to tell us how things have gotten worse.

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