Need Near Home: Haiti

14 January, 2010

School boy, Buff Bay, Jamaica, 2006.

School boy. Buff Bay, Jamaica. 2006.

Our prayers are with the people on the island nation of Haiti. It is a terrible tragedy so close to home. In the coming weeks all our prayers and support will be needed to come to the aid of our neighbors.

Below are some links to support agencies that are already on the ground assisting the survivors of this disaster. Please offer support financially if you can and prayerfully (which you can). There are many avenues of giving, so please choose carefully as scams abound when disasters occur.

Here are three links for giving support:

For this post I included this image from a trip to Jamaica (having never been to Haiti) because it was my first experience in the island cultures of the Caribbean. When I visited Jamaica, the topic of Haiti’s problems was discussed. Jamaica has its own problems with crime and poverty, but to a much lesser extent than Haiti.

I spoke with a Christian gentleman who had been to Haiti and he related his experience there. He stated that the spiritual darkness in Haiti is in part due to the practice and influence of Haitian Vodou (Voodoo), a religion born of another tragedy, the African slave trade of the 16th century. In his opinion, this has caused a spiritual oppression in a country which has had a long history of violence and unrest, from the European occupation starting in the 15th century to modern times with the 1957-1986 Duvalier dictatorship and the twice exerienced coup d’etat of Jean-Bertrand Aristide (the latter of which resulted in the 2004 Haiti rebellion.)

When the earth groans and travails beneath our feet, shaking our confidence in ourselves and in the governments which cover us with that thin veneer of peace and security, people turn to God. Some as a demonstration of that so-called foxhole religion, but others in a true, newly discovered need of God and his comfort in uncertain times.

It is much too early to speak of a “bright side” to such a horrible tragedy. But as time creates a comfortable distance from this event, many will rejoice over the new believers who will come to faith and in a new level of understanding and engagement of the people of this country for the long-ignored needs of people in a country so close to home.

Unfortunately, many will view the images of this disaster and quickly remove it from present concern to the category of past events, a safe distance from personally connecting with the important lessons of this and other tragedies.

This strikes at the core mission of AMPP. We hope to keep images of need in the forefront of peoples’ minds. The more engaged a person is in the needs of others, the greater their awareness and reliance on God to meet their own needs. This is a good thing.

© 2010 A Mission Proclaimed

A Mission Proclaimed is a federally recognized 501(c)(3). Your support is greatly appreciated.

 

Advertisements

Buff Bay, Jamaica

22 November, 2009

Buff Bay, Jamaica 2006

Buff Bay, Jamaica. 2006.

In 2006 I visited Buff Bay, Jamaica. The story was a short-term missions trip by a group of high school students from Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California.

During their time there they helped with various works projects around a local Christian school/church. This boy was one of the local boys who attended the school. He was in several photos I took that day, but this one stood out as a metaphor of what many boys face in Jamaica, that is time behind bars.

At first I didn’t like that metaphor being attached to the image, but the truth was that crime is a grave concern for persons who are attempting to help the youths in that area. The person in charge of the school and hosting this missions group was Michael Aiken. He worked very hard to give these children alternate opportunities such as soccer and work projects.

Although I was not comfortable with the image at first, I did later enter it into a photo competition in Venice, Italy where it took first place in its category.

© 2009 A Mission Proclaimed

A Mission Proclaimed is a federally recognized 501(c)(3). Your support is greatly appreciated.