A Wife Loved Like The Church

Posts Tagged ‘Haiti

It’s true, I hadn’t planned to write today. With my crazy anti-hibernation schedule I set up for us this week, we’ve been going like crazy and I needed a break. But then I saw this:

Haitian Soccer Players*

It is a beautiful picture to me. A picture of hope, determination and resilience all in one. A picture worth a thousand words.

Haiti is marking their one year anniversary today of the earthquake that nearly destroyed them. They are still in need of help, in need of support, in need of our prayers and love. How are we going to keep helping? What can we do? How can we help Haiti have more pictures of hope like this?

*photo credit

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I completed my half marathon yesterday. Whew. It was intense. I’m glad I did it and I’m glad I’m done.

My original goal was to run in the Drake Relays in Des Moines which take place next weekend. But, between traveling with the girls and Jonathan starting a new MBA class that weekend, it just didn’t seem possible. I didn’t want to forgo all my training from the last 2 months, so I came up with a better idea:

Run for Haiti

I told Jonathan that we should organize our own run, inviting people to run various miles to raise money for Haiti to send to Compassion International. We wanted to make the run on a donation basis – ranging from $1-5 per mile. I talked to Leah, since she was the first person I knew who would be on board with it. She said she’d run one of the routes and I went from there. After doing a facebook event and sending out an email, we had 10 runners (including myself) who either ran or walked anywhere from 3, 5, 13.1 or 16 miles. I even was blessed to have company for the vast majority of my run. One of the girls who ran is training for a marathon and used today as her long run. God really knew what He was doing, because we turned out to run the same pace, which was delightful. Very nice to have a running buddy for a long run like that!

I ran the last 3+ miles on my own. I’ll be completely honest – I ended up walking about 1/2 mile or so. I started getting so dehydrated that I was feeling faint and starting to blackout. Not good. I stopping running and walked to a gas station that was on my route. I took a break while I got some water. After that I ran the rest of the way home, but at a much slower pace than before. Initially I was disappointed for having stopped, but realized it was the best thing for me. The last two miles were the most challenging, yet I stuck to it. My reward when I got home? Julia running to me full speed yelling “Mama!” as I was crossing the finishing line. Nearly made me cry.

My recovering has gone smoother than I expected. As soon as I crossed the finish line I felt like I hit a wall. The last 3 miles of the run I started getting a headache (most likely from needing more water) and it was pretty intense once I got home. We ate some pizza (my request – Papa John’s pepperoni) then I got cleaned up. After that I was pretty useless for about 2+ hours. I took a long nap, drank plenty of water and took some ibuprofen. Stairs are presenting some challenges, but over all, aside from the headache that last all day yesterday, I feel pretty great. I’m thinking I might be able to bump my recovering run up to Tuesday instead of Wednesday.

I am thrilled to say, that as for helping Haiti, we had spectacular support. We raised a total of $260 for Compassion International. How amazing is that?!

I want to say a big thank you to all the people that ran with me yesterday. I was, still am, blown away by your support and desire to be apart of this event. I also want to say thank you to everyone who has cheered for me along the way. This has been a great experience for me and I truly appreciate everyone’s encouragement and support. I can officially say “Been there. Done that.” Now to check it off my 30 before 30 list:

#1. Run a half marathon

Tonight I sat down with the latest issue of World Magazine covering more on the Haiti quake. Honestly, I didn’t read the main articles about the relief efforts, the pain and destruction that has taken place (and still taking place). I just kept to the lighter side of things. Not that I am not still concerned with what has happened, and is happening, but that bearing the pain of it seems far harder than I am willing to do.

And then I saw it.

A picture, right in the middle of the page, of a small, no, tiny baby, hardly 5 pounds. Dead. The article is titled “An indecent grief“, written by Mindy Belz. As I read it, I was struck by how accurately the woman pin points how quickly I wish to “bandage” this pain, this hurt, this sorrow. When, in all actuality, I need to embrace the grieving period. Pay tribute, real heart breaking tribute, to these hurting and broken people.

Below I have included the article, along with the picture.

***Beware the picture is heart breaking, decide now whether you want to continue reading.***

Just off a transatlantic flight from covering the 1999 Izmit earthquake in Turkey—which killed over 17,000—I ordered coffee at Starbucks. I was dust-covered, unkempt, exhausted. I had come straight from the quake zone, watching all-night rescue efforts lit by generator-driven spotlights end in grief.

The barista set before me one of those really tall coffee concoctions, and I couldn’t pick it up. The cartonboard cup with its creamy white cleanness assaulted my senses. It was an affront to the dust-laden, broken-up, shaken-down cityscape I’d inhabited the past week. Coming out of it—back to where rebar held to concrete, where buildings stood with glass intact, where china and stuffed animals stayed on their shelves and children slept in their own beds—felt like a betrayal. I stood frozen at the Starbucks counter and wept.

We Westerners excel at getting on with it, at binding up wounds and fixing what’s broken, or paying others to do it for us. We do less well with pausing to grieve, feeling the pain long enough, letting the pain be pain and do its work.

“Pour out your heart like water before the presence of the Lord! Lift your hands to Him for the lives of your children, who faint for hunger at the head of every street,” lamented Jeremiah (Lamentations 2:19).

The list of Haiti’s needs, while brutally long, can be named and numbered. So can and should its lamentations. A death toll from an island the size of Massachusetts to rival a tsunami that spanned an ocean and 14 nations. Ten thousand quake victims per day dumped without name or record into mass graves. Thousands beneath the rubble awaiting a rescue that did not come. Each is an individual sorrow and together an unfathomable calamity.

“Oh that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!” (Jeremiah 9:1).

Jeremiah knew a “pain unceasing, an incurable wound, refusing to be healed.” The prophet himself lived a life full of indecent grief, a persistent heartbreak the men of Judah found obscene, excessive. They derided him as the “weeping prophet,” God forbade him to marry, and he died a captive in Egypt. Yet he wrote not from base self-pity but because he understood the risk: If we fail to see the depths of pain inflicted by disaster, we will fail to bind up the wounds properly. At the same time, the pain is a powerful reminder of our limits. We must not fail to see like Jeremiah that ultimately the wound is incurable and the pain unceasing. In this life all binding and curing is temporary.

So beware the man with quick answers: Pat Robertson dismissing the calamity as part of “a pact to the devil”; Rush Limbaugh declaring that we gave already. Beware the man with wrong answers: Max Beauvoir, Haiti’s high priest of voodoo, telling Haitians that the quake’s unexpected deaths only disrupted the normally peaceful transition from one life to the next. “We believe that everyone lives 16 times—eight times we live as men, and eight times as women. And the purpose of life is to gather all kinds of experiences,” said Beauvoir. Or the team of Scientologists, who went from makeshift shelter to makeshift shelter claiming to heal through touch. “When you get a sudden shock to a part of your body the energy gets stuck, so we reestablish communication within the body by touching people through their clothes, and asking people to feel the touch,” said one volunteer.

Comfort that treats the bereaved as pets or as losers is no comfort. Comfort designed less to empower than to ease is short-lived. The old English defined comfort as “strengthening, encouraging, inciting, aiding” while the Americans refined it to “soothe in a time of distress” (see Oxford English vs. American Heritage dictionaries). Haitians, made in the image of God and like His Son sorrowful even to death, need strengthening comfort, the kind that fathoms both the depth of the loss and the length of the work ahead.

Haitians amid the rubble have a better sense of this. “Dye pi fo,” some sang out from the shelters. “God is stronger.”

Let us not merely over look what has taken place, ignoring the pain we feel, the pain we have when we see others hurt. Let us take time to “bind up our wounds” and allow God to heal.

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“God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” Ephesians 1:5 (NLT)

I am not adopted in the earthly sense. But, I have been adopted as a child of God. And that right there means so much. Just thinking about what it means to adopt a child – to choose to love and care for another as your own – makes me humbled. Before I ever graduate high school, I thought about adoption as an option for my future family. Yet, truth be known, my attitude towards adoption in the last several years has been very close-minded. While I think adoption is not only good, but necessary, I am not sure I, personally, could ever adopt. I’d even go so far as to say “it’s not my calling”.

Then the other day, I read a post by Jon Acuff over at Stuff Christians Like, that hit me to my core. It might not be in God’s plan for us to ever have adopted children, but it is His plan for me to be “called to that”. It is my role, my calling, as a Christ follower, to love orphans and care for them, the same way Christ loves and cares for me. My heart needs to be open to orphans even if it’s not through adoption. I read in World Magazine twenty different ways to impact an orphan. I won’t list all twenty, but here are a few that impressed me:

1. Sponsor a child

We’ve all probably seen those “Sponsor a Child” commercials. They pull at my heart strings every time I see them. And for good reason. These children need help. They need food, shelter, clothing. They need love. Since the Haiti Earthquake, I’ve been praying more about sponsoring a child. Even if not a Haitian, then another child who needs our help.

2. Give financial support to an adoptive family

This one hits pretty close to home. We have several friends who have either adopted, or wish to adopt. While I don’t know the exact cost for the process, I know it’s expensive. Like crazy expensive. Giving them financial support would be huge – not only in achieving their goal, but in showing you support and love them and their child(ren).

3. Participate in mission trips to orphanages abroad

I love this idea. I love the idea of my entire family going. I want my children to have a heart for those around them. I think seeing other children with nothing, or close to nothing, would move us all to want to help in any way we can.

What are your thoughts? Do you want to adopt? Have you ever adopted?

MoneySavingMom is donating $10 for every person who blogs about what they specifically have done to help the Haitians. She will donate $.30 for every person who merely leaves a comment or email with what they have done.

What have you done?

Link up with MoneySavingMom to tell her what you’ve done and provide a little more help!

What have we done?

We donated money to Compassion International Wednesday night. I called Red Cross and United Way yesterday and was told that at this time, money is the biggest means of support, but will find out once that changes. Our family is discussing how much more we will give now and what ways we can continue to support the Haitians in the future (water, blankets, other supplies).

Please continue to pray for the country and her people.

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The country of Haiti was hit with a 7.0 earthquake yesterday, January 12. It was the worst in over 200 years.

Last night I heard the news from Jonathan, but I’ll be honest, paid no attention until this evening. Wrapped up in my own little mom bubble, I gave no thought to listening to the news, reading online or asking friends. Then tonight, as Julia played before bedtime I started reading news sources. Reading one after the other, my heart broke. Do I really care so little, that I haven’t even bothered to pray for these people, this country, until now? Why am I so engrossed in my own bubble that I am failing to see the world around me?

As I challenge myself to pop my “me bubble”, I challenge you as well. Here are 3 ways you can look beyond yourself and help the people of Haiti:

1. Pray

“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.” 1 Timothy 2:1

If you can’t help monetarily, you can help by praying. Pray for peace for the country, wisdom for the government, healing for the people and for God’s glory to shine through a dark and troubling time.

2. Give

“Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.” Galatians 6:2-3

There are some amazing relief organizations* taking donations. Giving even $1 will make a difference.

3. Talk

Spread the word among your friends. If you find an organization that you want to donate to, tell a friend. Better yet, organize a donation drive. If you have an idea to help with disaster relief, post it. Every thing you do helps.

*Sites I recommend

Samaritian’s Purse

Compassion International

Red Cross

Help Haiti Ts

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