Like all of you I’ve been watching the TV news and reading the reports in the paper about the earthquake in Port au Prince. The magnitude of this is almost too much to understand. But, beyond the immediate tragedy I’ve been thinking about the reasons.
About fifteen years ago San Francisco had a magnitude 7+ earthquake. There was a huge amount of property damage but fewer than 100 people lost their lives. Now Port au Prince gets hit with a 7.0 magnitude quake and 100,000 and 140,000 people are dead immediately. It’s not the earthquake that killed these people, it’s poverty they’re forced to endure that did it. Years of rule by Haitian dictators, well meaning but flawed U.S. foreign policy, and neglect by the international community have left (kept?) the country in ruins. So this earthquake hit a city filled with buildings that were poorly built, roads that can’t handle the logistics required to get aid to the people, and a largely non-functioning government. Many lost their lives in the quake. Many more will die from lack of treatment for their injuries. And, during the next few years thousands more will die because what little economy existed has been crushed by this disaster.
Several members of the navy have asked about Boileau, where the Haitian Pilgrims have been working (and the reason for this blog and my race in July). Boileau has made great progress in the last few years. Fortunately it was spared the effects of the earthquake but it still lives on the edge of disaster – waiting for another hurricane, landslide, or bad crop year. So, while we all see the need in Port au Prince, it’s the entire country that needs our thoughts and prayers – for the long haul. The Haitian Pilgrims are doing great work to help Boileau prepare itself for the unexpected.
But, back to the earthquake and Port au Prince….. The Haitian Pilgrims have been working with another organization in Haiti called Food For the Poor. FFP is rated as more effective by non-profit rating agencies than most of the other organizations you’ve heard of. Their buildings and operations in Port au Prince escaped most of the damage. They are on the ground and open for business with an effective and dedicated staff. And, because of the relationship the Haitian Pilgrims have with FFP 100% of the funds received by the Pilgrims and sent to FFP will be spent in the Port au Prince relief effort.
Take a look at Matthew 25:35 and Matthew 5:14-16. If you feel moved to help, you can send a tax deductible check, made out to Haitian Pilgrims, to:
844 Lochmoor Lane
Highland Village, TX 75077-3106
And, if you write that check, let them know you’re a member of the White Rock Navy.
If you’ve already donated to another cause or can’t help this time I understand. You can also help by forwarding this to anyone you think might be interested. And, if you get this as a forward and would like to be alerted to future updates on my blog, send me an emal at firstname.lastname@example.org.