A natural disaster is happening in some part of the world all the time, it seems. We want to be empathetic, but our minds can only hold so much information and focus on so many problems at one time.
OK, well, I guess I can’t speak for anyone but myself. But I have a hard time remembering to pray for suffering people that I have never met in a country far away.
But everything changes when you have been to the country. When you have walked on its sod and looked in the eyes of its people, you will always keep a place for that country in your heart.
Again, I actually can only speak for myself. But that is how I feel about Haiti. I have only had the privilege of going there once, but even if I never go back, I will carry Haiti in my heart forever.
So when I hear reports of a terrible storm hitting Haiti, it is significant. Because Haiti now has a face for me. This face is beautiful and strong, and although this face has limited resources, somehow it is always, always joyful. And when a hurricane threatens Haiti, it no longer threatens an unknown land to me. It threatens a translator whose heart for his country is so great that after our last visit he started an orphanage. It threatens Pastor Jo, a white haired man who always wore sunglasses and honored my feeble attempt to speak to him in French. It threatens Woodky, who survived the earthquake in 2010 because God told him not to go to a place that would end up being destroyed.
I thought I would help you to put a face on Haiti, too, because it is much easier to remember to pray for something with a face. Pray for the recovery from Hurricane Matthew in Haiti. There is a long road ahead of them.
Also, if you want to keep up with information as it comes in on Haiti’s status, you can follow the blog on 410 Bridge’s website – this is the organization that we went to Haiti through.