Friday, January 15, 2010

New Year People

I'm lost already this year, watching the rubble and ruin of Haiti. Who is this that allows such force to crush people living in the poorest nation in our hemisphere?

Beats me.

Defeats me.

Until I see the TV images of people everywhere this New Year joined in outcry and response.

Here's one outcry from the streets on 13 January from Perard Monestime SJ, a priest with the Jesuit Refugee Service in Port-Au-Prince:

“The situation is very serious...There are thousands of deaths bodies currently on the streets of Port-au-Prince. More than 60 % of houses have collapsed in the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince. The national Palace, the main building offices of the State, schools and institutions that belong to the Catholic Church no longer exist. Residences of religious, the roof of the Cathedral of Port - in Port-au-Prince, the Archbishop’s house etc.; all have collapsed. The body of the Archbishop of Port-au-Prince was found under the rubbles. Supermarkets, banks, trade houses, radio and television stations Hospitals etc fell also. According to the administrator of the General Hospital, the largest health institution in the capital collapsed with many patients while many wounded and corpses were being brought in. People spent the night in the streets and public places by fear of new replicas of the earthquake. Throughout the night and even this morning there have been many after chocks.

"This morning. -UN headquarters in Bourdon collapsed and left 11 dead; among whom are 8 Brazilians and 3 Chinese. A population of 2 million and a half in the city of Port-au-Prince is in the state of shock. It will be days before they can get an exact death toll; already are thousands are counted dead...In many areas it is not known exactly how many people are dead...The Haitian State agencies that are already weak in resources have not taken any action so far. They have also been affected by the earthquake. The National Presidential Palace, the House of Legislative, the National Police Headquarters, etc. all have collapsed...People are still in the streets and the public places have no water, food, or medication. The dead bodies on the streets are still being exposed.”

I'm lost when it comes to questions about who's behind acts of God, mass hunger, kids with Cancer, deadly addictions. But when I see people, inspired by Something larger than themselves, responding in this New Year as they have across the years, I start to see answers.

You've probably come across many choices to respond to Haiti.

Jesuit Refugee Service is one more option that may be worth your consideration.



  1. My friend David is buried under the rubble of the Hotel Montana. It brings the tragedy down to a size and scale I can get my mind around... *my* friend missing... *his* wife left anxious and alone... *their* boys wondering why Daddy's not home yet.

    But David is just one of the thousands who are missing and we are only a few of the tens of thousands waiting.

    That there are earthquakes and hurricanes and kids with cancer does not surprise me. That there are people in this world like David... like the rescuers now in Haiti... like the volunteers in Jesuit Refugee Service and Compassion International... *that's* the surprise.

    In a world that's supposed to be ruled by survival-of-the-fittest, Love and Beauty are the miracles.

  2. Jim, Prayers for your friend, David, and his family and you. -- tim

  3. You are asking who caused this?