Haiti/Good Samaritan – The Sequel

I know we’ve spoken about Haiti a lot. And I know I already used the “Love your neighbor” part. But I wanted us to take one more look at a different part of the story.

“He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.'”
– Luke 10:34-35

God has been pursuing my heart with this passage for quite a while now and here is what I have learned. We don’t just need to give while the disaster is on the news. Haiti is going to be in desperate need for a long time. A tragedy like this can cripple this country and its people. There will be people hungry and without homes long after this has faded back to its regular place in the news behind the celebrity watching and sports highlights. Rebuilding lives takes time. But most of us will text in our donation to the Red Cross and go on about our lives. That is not a condemnation of you. It’s just how our society works. It’s how I work. My heart is stirred for a moment and on my good days, I act in that moment. But then I am re-consumed with my own life, my own needs, my own problems.

The Samaritan in the story provides for the future. He took the man somewhere he could be cared for. And then provided enough money to ensure that care. With a promise he would return with more if needed.

I hope these are the kind of investments we can make in Haiti. An investment that says, “I see your hurt on the TV and I am giving to help. But my heart is now connected to yours. I will continue to provide for you. I will invest in your hope and your future. You are a child of my Father and I will not abandon my brother to hopelessness.”

As always, World Vision is one way you can do this. You can make a commitment to give and to keep giving to the relief effort. You can sponsor a child in Haiti and invest in their future that way. Some of us who gave in the moment may need to commit that $10 every month for the next year, or two years. Give wherever you are comfortable: World Vision, Compassion, the Red Cross, Unicef. Just give. We need to place things in our lives like alarm clocks that will remind us days and weeks down the road that the people in Haiti still need us. There are many ways God will call us to love our neighbor and keep loving them. I look forward to hearing your stories of how He loves through you.

Todd

Haiti

Well, this Haiti earthquake has finally shaken me from my blogging holiday. I didn’t know what to write as January came around. I didn’t want to write on resolutions. So I’ve skipped a few weeks. But I think this has gotten all of our attention. I know your heart was probably moved as mine was with the initial news. But let us not get callous as the overwhelming mass of data floods in. Yes, it is on every channel all the time. But those are still real people in need. I have been encouraged by how much response there has already been to this disaster. If you are still looking for ways to respond, here are a few…

You can click here and donate:

World Vision has been on the ground from the moment of the quake and is providing aid to as many as possible. If you’d like to be involved more long-term, you can go to worldvision.org and sponsor a child from Haiti.

And now is not the time to argue about which aid organization you prefer. If you like Compassion, give here.

To donate to Unicef, click here.

You can text “Haiti” to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross for Haiti relief. It will be charged to your phone bill.

As I’ve said a couple of times already, you can buy a T-shirt where the proceeds go directly to aid in Haiti. You can find that here:

Most of us understand the story of the Good Samaritan. We are to love our neighbor as ourselves. Well, I think for most of us, if we were homeless, hurting, scared, hungry, without shelter, food, clothing, medicine, we would appreciate some help. I think most of us understand that. Most of us understand that Haiti is our neighbor. It is the poorest country in our side of the world, and that was before the earthquake. I think most of our hearts break when we see the pictures on the news of these poor people. So I’ll close with these words from the end of that story in Luke 10…

“Which of those three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?”

He said, “The one who showed him mercy.”

And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

Thanks for loving your neighbor. And for listening to me.

Todd

Relief In Haiti

Dear friends,

I am sure most of you are already in action, both in prayer and in deed.  The disaster in Haiti is monumental but I believe the church is up to the task.  We have been growing more and more active over the last few years.  I am excited to see what God does in this time.  If you would like to be a part, you can go to www.worldvision.org.  At their site, you can donate to an emergency relief fund or sponsor a child from to make a long term difference.  If you would like to look into something even more long term, there is always adoption.  There will be a huge need.  Haiti had one and a half million orphans before yesterday.  That number should climb astronomically this week.  You can look at this website, Heartline Ministries.  It is a beautiful ministry that helps adoption of these children.  I would also appreciate your prayers for a wonderful missionary family, the Livesays, Troy and Tara.  You can check out their blog to read more about them.

Also, please pray for our friends, the Iveys.  Aaron is one of the worship leaders at our church and they are an amazing family.  They have been in the middle of the adoption process bringing two children Amos and Story to the US from Haiti.  Story finally made it here but Amos is still there.  They have received news that he is okay, but this is obviously a difficult time for them.  You can read more at his blog, or check out his new record, Between the Beauty and the Chaos, which has a song, Amos Story, on it.

And last but definitely not least, here is one way you can make a difference right now.  And come out of it looking more fashionable.  There are tshirts on sale where all the proceeds go to relief in Haiti.  You can get yours right now.  Just click HERE.

Thanks,
Todd

Haiti Earthquake & World Vision

Port-au-Prince, Haiti, January 13, 2010 — Christian humanitarian agency World Vision plans to begin assessing damage and preparing a relief response today after the major earthquake that hit Haiti Tuesday. The agency has worked in Haiti for 30 years and has some 370 staff in country.

Downed communications, blocked roads and continuing aftershocks slowed relief efforts overnight, with staff unable to leave the agency’s Port-au-Prince office for several hours due to fallen debris in the roadways.

“It felt as if a truck had hit a wall,” said World Vision staffer Magalie Boyer, of the initial tremor. “There is extensive damage in the city. People are getting ready to spend the night in the streets. They are not comfortable staying in their houses.”

“World Vision Haiti will distribute first aid kits to survivors, along with basic materials such as soap, blankets, clothes and bottles of water as an initial response,” Boyer added.

Meanwhile, World Vision staff from less affected regions of Haiti are mobilizing and the agency’s global experts are expected to arrive in the disaster zone as soon as possible. Crystal Penner, a World Vision aid worker, was in the central plateau region of Haiti when the quake hit: “There are relief goods prepositioned in various locations across the country, though the challenge will be getting those supplies swiftly to those in need,” she said.

“We would be very concerned about a quake of this magnitude anywhere in the world, but it is especially devastating in Haiti, where people are acutely vulnerable because of poor infrastructure and extreme poverty,” said Edward Brown, World Vision’s relief director in the United States.

Reaching hard-hit areas with supplies is expected to be a significant challenge due to damaged roads and infrastructure, including the main airport and government buildings.

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.

So, obviously there is a huge need in Haiti right now. If God moves on your heart to help, you can do so by visiting worldvision.org or by calling 1.888.56.CHILD. Thanks.

Todd