Saturday, January 16, 2010

Help for Haiti

Maybe it's because of my experience teaching at Rift Valley Academy in Kenya (although no major incidents occurred during the years I lived there), but I can imagine only too well what it would be like for a major disaster to happen and for our school campus to be used as relief headquarters for people living in that area of the country.

This is exactly what is happening now at Quisqueya Christian School in Haiti. Friends from college work there, and that's why I linked to QCS in my previous post. According to my friend's brother's blog, a German medical team is set up at QCS now, as is a group from Crisis Response International. An emergency US Army team is on their way as well. You can donate directly to the ongoing relief efforts at QCS by going to their website. Just click the "donate" button at the bottom of the page.

A Matter of Perspective

It's that time of year again, when the air is cold and the days are dark, when my mind wanders like a toddler (uncontrollably, willy-nilly) through previous seasons of my life -- places I've lived, friends I've known, jobs I've held, conversations I've had -- but I can't seem to focus on what I'm supposed to be doing right now, right here.

I had been thinking I'd get back to my old self once Jack and Sophie got back into their school routine, but then the UK was hit with this record snowfall, and the schools were closed for four days over these two weeks since that school routine was supposed to be back in effect.

The good news is, we've had lots of family time! We've made play-doh, sugar cookies and Rice Krispie treats together. We've played in the snow, walked into town for hot chocolate at Starbuck's, made snow angels, discovered a footpath through the woods and alongside a stream that reminds me of the creek behind my childhood home. Covered in snow, everything has been as picturesque in black-and-white as it has been the other, more colorful seasons since we moved down to the countryside.

At first it was so exciting: A snow day! Woo-hoo! But after weeks of not knowing what to expect day-to-day, we're all thankful that it's thawing now, that the rain is melting the remaining snow/slush and washing it all away. Life may not be exactly rosy (spring is still more than two months away), but at least we've got predictability.

Which is more than I can say for the folks in Haiti. The reality of their living nightmare puts all my self-pitying, seasonal boo-hooings in the bin where they belong!

You may already know people who live in Haiti, and you may be following what's happening there via blogs and/or facebook in addition to what's being reported by the media in general. If not, here's the family who did that cool nativity video mentioned at the end of my previous post. In order to focus on the overwhelming needs all around them, they've had to send their children to the States to stay with relatives for the time being.

You may already have found practical ways to help the relief efforts, especially through some of the larger, on-the-ground organizations like Doctors Without Borders, the Salvation Army, the Red Cross or World Vision. If you're still looking for a group to donate to, please consider giving to Quisqueya Christian School in Port-au-Prince. Or look down the left side of the Livesay's blog. They list the two organizations they serve with as well as other people they know who are working in Haiti. At this point, every little helps someone, somewhere.

At times like this, questions outweigh answers. I've really appreciated having the internet, this amazing gift of technology, and the chance to read what others are doing as well as writing/thinking/praying in response to this devastating earthquake. If, like me, you're wondering how to make sense out of the senselessness, how to pray or just what in the world is wrong with Pat Robertson, check out the Sojourner's blog. Thank God for their sensibility, for their compassion, for their loyalty to Jesus and their understanding of the relevance of God's Word in our hurting world.