I have never really cared to travel, happy to sleep in my own bed each night and read of the world through other’s eyes. I have made exactly one trip out of the United States in my lifetime. That trip was to Port Au Prince, Haiti. I was an 18 year old suburban middle class white girl off on a mission trip to build a school. I had never even flown in an airplane at that point of my life, and had never been away from home for more than 2 weeks. Just catching the plane and leaving was a huge step for me.
From the airport in Port Au Prince we took a brightly colored tap tap to the villa where we were staying. It was dusk as we drove through the narrow streets of Port Au Prince and on either side of the tap tap , close enough to touch them, were tin shack colonies where people everywhere were bent over fires preparing an evening meal.
That trip from the airport was probably a 2 or 3 mile trip, but from start to finish, that trip was a million miles long for me. While I did return from Haiti a couple of weeks later , the million mile trip was one way. My heart was cracked open and laid bare on that day and every decision I have made about life since then has been made with a heart broken open for a hurting world.
The media has left nothing to our imagination over these past few days. Whether it be in news reports on the radio or pictures on the internet or in newspapers, each of us have been exposed to the images of the dead, piled in parking lots and on the sides of roads. Each one of those bodies were fearfully and wonderfully made, each hair on their heads known and loved, each of them someone’s cherished child, each precious in God’s sight.
It is estimated that prior to the earthquake there were already over 300,000 orphans in Port Au Prince. It is hard to even imagine how many more orphans there are now. Please pray for these children and for the agencies trying to serve them with little to no resources. A simple internet search can connect you to a number of these agencies. The good folks at the Party of 5 blog have one suggestion at their site: http://johnson-mccormickfamily.blogspot.com/ You don’t have to look very far to find other agencies who are already hard at work to bring some relief to the families there- our family has chosen to support Doctors Without Borders, but you can find all kinds of other ways to contribute. If you are thinking you want to send some support, do it now.
Tonight my heart, broken and made irreversibly tender on a road in Port Au Prince, aches for this little country and a tragedy that I cannot explain.