I am going home! Last night, just over 48 hours after the earthquake

I am going home! Last night, just over 48 hours after the earthquake, we were
evacuated from Port-au-Prince by World Vision staff. We drove through dark, narrow
streets, congested with traffic, crowded with people now homeless, and lined with
garbage. We made our way through the border into the Dominican Republic, seven of us
in a vehicle which seats five, and stayed overnight there. Today, we were driven to Santa
Domingo, and I now sit on an airplane, flying to New York. I am going home!
I am going home. I repeat this to myself, as I slowly begin to believe that the
experience I just lived through is coming to an end, and tonight I will be reunited with my
family. I am going home. I surge with emotion, more than I have felt in the last few days,
when emotions were numbed by the harsh reality that surrounded us. I am going home.
As I look back on the past few days, I realize just how fortunate we were. We are
all alive and uninjured. We were in the eye of an incredible storm, and have now emerged
safely. I believe with all my heart that we were in God’s hands these past few days,
surrounded in a bubble of protection, somehow kept safe from harm.
Why us? Why, when over 100,000 people died, were we spared? Why, when
another major hotel collapsed and killed 200, were we left untouched? I suppose I could
spend hours trying to fathom the will of God in this catastrophe, however, I do not
presume to understand God’s will in the face of such overwhelming pain and suffering.
Instead, I thank God for His blessings over the past few days, and ponder how I should
I felt completely helpless during the past several days. I was unable to respond in
any meaningful way to the pain, suffering and chaos surrounding me. So now, I resolve
to do what I can do – I can bear witness.
This much I know. Haiti is a country that was already exceedingly poor, lacking
the resources, infrastructure and institutions to care for its people. A country with
crippling unemployment, and lacking in hope. With a devastating earthquake, the
incredible need in this country is greatly magnified. Now, more than ever, I believe we
are called to respond to this need. I believe we need to respond now, to stabilize and
protect the country, so the long, arduous task of rebuilding can begin. I believe we also
need to respond in the long run. We need to invest in the people of Haiti, to assist and
empower communities to become more self-reliant and self-sustaining, and to achieve a
sense of hope.
This much I know. I can make a difference, We can make a difference. We can
work together as a church, as a community, and as a society to support the thousands of
committed individuals and numerous organizations working to make a difference. We
can help raise a generation of individuals that can provide Haiti with a sense of purpose
and hope, and in the fullness of time overcome the many barriers the people of Haiti face
on a daily basis.
This much I know. I can be a witness.