Saturday, January 16, 2010

Haiti Earthquake

Last night I listened to a radio show talking about what is happening to various missions groups in Haiti since the earthquake occurred last Tuesday.  It is a sad day for all since the earthquake was very devastating.  The 7.0 earthquake was followed by hundreds of aftershocks, many getting into 5 and 6 range.  Most of the capital city of Port Au Prince has collapsed including the presidential palace, legislature and the UN building.  Many are dead and missing and the rescue effort has been relentless.

The great news for the Christian community is the fact we were already there.  One of the first reports I got was from a local missions group called Youth with a Mission.  They had thirty people in Haiti and all were accounted for.  That was a great praise the Lord.  Then the CBS story of a Missionary lady who was able to call her husband on a cell phone and he drove 100 miles to dig his wife out of the rubble.  Of course we lost a lot of our missionaries.  Our prayers are with them in this time.

The big story is now the relief effort.  With so many building collapsed there are many who are on the street.  Relief aircraft are flying into the International airport but it has a space problem.  Like many third world airports, it has only one runway and it has limited parking.  I am curious of the fuel situation.  I am sure that pilots are being told to fuel up enough to return home with what is on board.  I am sure if they need to a short hop to the Dominican Republic or to Puerto Rico would be a solution.

Leading the christian relief effort as always is Franklin Graham  and Samaritans Purse.  Mercies Ships as a hospital ship steaming to the area.  The doctors and Nurses on the ground have had to use any and all of their third world training to set splints and do amputations with little or no medicine for the pain.  I heard Bill Clinton on the first night say that even a $5 donation is useful in that it could pay for a bottle of Aspirin. 

Speaking of Bill Clinton, I believe he is leading the UN effort in Haiti.  George W Bush has been tapped by President Obama to lead the US effort there.  Nice to see he is keeping one legacy from GW.  The use of former presidents, no matter what party they were to lead US efforts in a disaster situations.

Much has been made about President Obama's response versus George W Bush's in Katrina.  Apples and Oranges.  Katrina took place in a state not in a foregn country.  In a state, the state has to ask the federal government for help.  The state of Louisiana was slow in asking and therefore the help did not get there quick enough when it was needed.  The federal effort in New Orleans is still ongoing.  We need to compare this to Indonesia and China where our relief effort was as swift as can be expected being that we did not have a lot of our own people already on the ground at the time of disaster and anyone coming from the US was thousands of miles away.  We had a lot of US nationals already in Haiti ready to go to work for this disaster.  Haiti is only 600 miles from Miami.

Since this is a Blog about eschatology and end time events.  How does this event play in?  Matthew 24:7 mentions that Earthquakes in diverse places are a sign that the end is near.  Not that it is here. It is a sign that we are to start paying attention.  In Haiti tonight they are. 

Someone on the facebook page for ABC news said that God wouldn't kill 50 thousand innocent people for no good reason.  And in a way he is right.  But he doesn't know our God.  There is always a good reason.  Haiti has been one of the darkest countries in the Caribbean.  It has practiced a form of Voodoo for centuries.  It is a mixture of African paganism with Catholic symbolism.  It is more paganism then Catholic let me say.  The report I heard last night said that missionaries have gone to bed with the sound of Voodoo drums ever since he could remember.  The last few nights they have been silent.  What he is hearing is people on the streets singing christian hymns and choruses.  I think we can safely say that tonight, Haiti is listening to the voice of God.

I cannot say how the end will play out for this island nation not too far from Guantanamo Bay.  I will say that we need to keep them and all the workers there in our prayers.  If you have something to give, I recommend Mercy Ships or Samaritans Purse.  If you already support a missionary in Haiti, give a little extra this month.  If you sponsor a child there, ask your organization how you can help out.  Of course check on the condition of your sponsored child. Check the links below and get involved. 

Mercy Ships
Samaritans Purse
Compassion International
Mission Aviation Fellowship
World Vision
A complete list of good sources to give to is at EFCA.

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