Posted this today on my blog at work, Strangely Dim.
Haiti has been on our minds a lot lately. A recent release in the Likewise line of books, Following Jesus Through the Eye of the Needle, introduces the reader to Kent Annan's first perplexing years living and working on education issues in Haiti before major political upheaval forced him and his wife to relocate to Miami. Kent now lives in Miami, jetting back and forth regularly to Port-au-Prince to continue the work of his organization, Haiti Partners. To celebrate the launch of his book, we launched a contest, with the prize being a five-day trip to Haiti, guided by Kent, to see up close the work God is doing among the people there. So yeah, Haiti has been on our minds a lot.
So when we heard about the earthquake that toppled the presidential palace, a hospital and countless other buildings in Port-au-Prince yesterday, we were perhaps more concerned than we, safely far removed from such an exotic place, might otherwise have been. We've since heard from Kent that he's in Miami this week and is thus OK, but his codirector at Haiti Partners was in the midst of the earthquake, though it sounds as though he and his family are OK. We have yet to hear about Enel and Edvard, two new friends of ours who joined Kent on his trip to the Urbana Student Missions Conference just before the new year. So while we're praying generally for the people affected by this earthquake, we find our prayers focused particularly on the people we know there, which I suppose is the nature of praying.
What will best help the people of Haiti in the aftermath of this quake has yet to be determined, although there's some effort to get water, clothes and trained emergency responders to the roughly three million people directly affected. But the recovery will take a long time. Toward that end, Kent has set up an emergency fund through Haiti Partners. You can donate to the fund by going to haitipartners.org and clicking on "Donate Now."