A Day In Haiti... Indescribable...
Last Tuesday, I got a call from Samaritan’s Purse (the relief organization headed up by my friend Franklin Graham). They wanted to know if I could leave the next day for Haiti! By Wednesday afternoon, I was on my way to spend the night in the Dominican Republic, along with my wife Debbie, Jay Clarke (from Samaritan’s Purse), and Lacey Mosley and Josh Sturm (married; she’s the lead singer of Flyleaf and incredible people; we loved hanging with them). EARLY Thursday morning – we tried not to think about the fact it was 3 am back home) we got on our way to Port au Prince, Haiti. Flying into Haiti from the DR was a bit surreal, going from lush green to bare ground with a few trees here and there, and then as we got closer, seeing the destruction.
Even though we knew what to expect, we didn’t know the emotions we would feel, actually being with the people. Our first stop was at a feeding station at a tent camp where thousands of people from Haiti’s worst slum live. (We saw these “tents” all over the place in Port au Prince, and they are made of whatever people could find, but most are made of bed sheets.) At the feeding station, people waited in lines for hours for their share of massive bags of rice…and there isn’t enough even though 45 tons are given out a day at that one place, and there are 16 feeding stations around the city! The need is that great. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the faces of hunger and desperation I saw that morning. A sea of people standing in the hot sun just hoping to eat a little rice that day. A few times I lost it and let the tears flow.
We drove around the city in a van with a few others, including a Haitian pastor, who lost his wife, baby, mother and mother-in-law and showed us his home where they died, crushed underneath a 5-story school where many children lost their lives. It was an extremely difficult stop, and we gathered around the pastor and prayed next to the rubble of his home. A wonderful US Caption soldier went everywhere with us (hey Jill, if you read this, you’re awesome!) We were continually blown away by the hard work and compassion of our military as they worked alongside Samaritan’s Purse (and everywhere else we went!) Pray for them when you pray for the people of Haiti…they are dealing with a crisis beyond what anyone is ever prepared for.
At one “tent city” in a park right across the collapsed Presidential Palace, which you’ve probably seen in the news, we walked around and talked to people. Many of them were worried about the rainy season coming up (where would they live? Even the homes that survived are unstable and everyone fears aftershocks) One mom said she had no baby food for her baby. The kids I saw were beautiful, and my heart went out to them. Their future is so uncertain…I couldn’t help but compare the little ones to my grandkids who have everything they need. I felt helpless to meet those specific needs, but SO thankful to be giving to those who are doing everything they can to help.
We stopped at a makeshift medical clinic, staffed by US doctors and nurses. Samaritan’s Purse has been able to find churches that are still standing (at least in part) that have allowed them to set up clinics all over the city. There were long lines of people waiting, and it was a relief to know that, at least for these, there were capable doctors and supplies at the end of their wait. Just another way your dollars are going to directly serve these people!
After a packed day, we started back home and started processing what we had just experienced. My hope is that I can convey to you and lots of others how great the need is in Haiti. It will be great for several years to come, and Franklin Graham told me they (Samaritan’s Purse) will be there for the long term. I think our military will be too, and I plan to return for a weekend so I can lead Sunday morning worship (I got a lot of requests!)
Finally, remember we are the hands and feet of Jesus. People are praying for and receiving miracles in Haiti. People are caring for the hungry, sick and grieving. And those people are there because someone gave generously to get them there, with the supplies they need to help. The people of Haiti are survivors; they’ve never had it easy. But our greatest hope is that this devastating tragedy could bring about a spiritual awakening that will bring true freedom to these people. God is on the move in Haiti, among his children who truly shine in the darkness, in spite of their own suffering.
Here are some ways you can help: You can buy “Come Together Now” (Music City Unites For Haiti) on iTunes and Amazon; all net proceeds go to Samaritan’s Purse and the American Red Cross. If you’ve already bought a copy - - gift another copy to a friend. At $1.29 per download – gift it to MANY friends!
Next Tuesday (Feb. 23rd) you can go to iTunes and other digital outlets to purchase the Samaritan’s Purse album HEALING 4 HAITI – which features the track Come Together Now.
And, of course, you can donate directly to Samaritan’s Purse and to the American Red Cross at their respective sites or visit www.cometogethernowhaiti.com.
The Haitians’ lives literally depend on the generosity of average people like you and me. You are the army of volunteers that can spread this message to countless others. Use your email lists, your Facebook accounts, your Twitter account and any other method you have to spread this message.
Let’s give the people of Haiti our support, love and prayers.
|Gracias! - 2010-04-08|
|Realmente tienes un gran corazon, ese es el verdadero amor, el que la Biblia dice... Gracias por compartirlo con tus fans!!!|
|a school for a school - 2010-03-17|
Here in the north of the netherlands we raise with our free reformed schools( from kindergarden till high schools)money for the project we've a school they get a school.
We've got enough money to rebuild 3 schools in Haiti!|
|Haiti - 2010-03-03|
|Good morning Michael, I just got around to reading your blog today. I have to say that my boyfriend and I pray for Haiti on a regular basis. Funny how 2 people can be so much alike. A couple of days after the earthquake, Paul came by for supper and the first words out of his mouth were that he wanted to go to Haiti to help out. And I said that it was on my heart too. We sent our tents down when they were looking for tents and when the rebuild starts we will be there with a missions group to help. God bless you for what you are doing to help the people of Haiti.
|by Wendy Pizzardi|
|Thank you - 2010-02-27|
|I was in haiti in 07 and also fly supplies with missionary flight international to haiti,and to bring awarness to a country you are doing a blessed job,so many times people forget after the first big wvae of responce,that important for people not to forget and know ,thank you|
|compassion - 2010-02-26|
|Ô Seigneur donne nous ta grace de la compassion et de la miséricorde pour aimer, aider dans les moindres détails Haďti et ses habitants dans leur détresse, que nos coeurs parlent vraiment! Dieu vous bénisse pour tout|
|by valerie Kra|
|Haiti Comments - 2010-02-26|
|Thank you Michael for sharing from your heart. There is so much need and you described it well. It takes people like you sharing to help the world see and want to help. My husband and I have made a donation to Samaritan's Purse and to the Southern Baptist Convention through our church. We're glad to know S/P is there for the long haul though we never doubted that! Please, please folks continue to give and to pray for the people of Haiti! Thanks again Michael, Debbie and all those helping you and others like you!|
|by Marlene Reuscher|
|Praise God 4U - 2010-02-23|
|Thanks for doing what I wish I could do, all we could do was have a BURRITO
benefit night at our church
after we heard about the tragedy. I've never made sooooo many burritos in one hour. WOW!!! Anything at all, that's what we want to do, whatever we can to send the love of Christ to those beautiful people. God Bless you and yours for your sacrifice of love.|
|by Michelle Bauer|
|even far - 2010-02-20|
|I read a post from W. through tradutor.Eu I do Amazonas in Brazil, far more perish from here also suffer with them many soldiers died here too! I was grateful when I saw the posting W. (a singer who God has taught me to love it), putting themselves in the position of Christ as a servant to look for victims in Haiti! You're inspiring me as Paul W.
hugs for all of the worshipers of the united states and canada, I'm here to serve the king!|
|Thank You - 2010-02-20|
|Thank you Michael and Debbie for sharing your experience that no doubt has impacted your life forever.As I read about what these people have suffered,and many of them Christians,I was reminded that we Americans are not exempt from something just as devastating happening here. The law of the harvest is always the same.I believe if I sow good seed into others that are in such desperate need, I will reap blessing upon my own when the time comes. May God richly bless you for your giving also. To God be all the Glory forever!|
|by Anita Childress|
|Army Chaplain - 2010-02-20|
|I wanted to thank you on behalf of the US Soldiers serving here. We met at Distribution Point 6 where the rice was being handed out. It is one thing to say you support something. It is a whole other thing to back it by physical action. May God Bless You!!|
|by CH (MAJ) Brad Baumann|
|the tears of a child advocate - 2010-02-20|
|How can I express the grief of many child advocates. My child is safe in Nicaragua. Many advocates are grieving, scared and uncertain. I for one have cried for these churches, teachers, workers and people of Haiti. Personally, I plan on giving to compassion..f I could, I would work in an orphanGE or hospital or just pray for these people. Like Michael says, we are the hands and feet of Jesus|
|by linda reed|
|Thank you - 2010-02-17|
|Thank you for all you do, Smitty. You are a blessing!|
|God is moving, Thanks for sharing - 2010-02-17|
|Michael, you're exactly right, God is moving in Haiti and the world is watching. Haitian believers rose from the rubble with unbelievable grief, fear and pain but the words on their lips "Beni soit l'Eternel - Praise the Lord". Today ends 5 days of national prayer and fasting (never thought possible in Haiti before) with a March for Jesus in northern city of Cap Haitien. We hope you'll join us there soon.|
|by Kate Michel, Radio 4VEH, The Evangelistic Voice of Haiti|
|His hand and feet to the Nations - 2010-02-17|
|Is so sad that haiti need food and water and clothers and blankets and shoes and socks and toys for the kids in haiti.2-16-2010|
|One Body of Christ - 2010-02-17|
|Thank you for sharing your experience in Haiti. The need is overwhelming; the situation devastating, but in the midst there's great hope and faith. May we join as one in prayer for our brothers and sisters in Haiti and all on the ground helping. Our parish Lenten Almsgiving project will support the work of Catholic Relief Services in Haiti where they've been serving since 1954.|
|by Melissa Keegan|
|MaryLou - 2010-02-17|
|What an incredible trip that you and Deb with others, have made to Haiti. I imagine that words can not hold the depth that you felt and breathed as you stood in the crunbled world of Gods' beautiful people. Truly sad and gut wrenching.. It is unimaginable to have one lose their entire family, and yet stand on the very soil amongst those very ruins...like you said, here we are without need, and the whole of this earthquake creates such a sense of helplessness and an extreme desire to scream and shout it out to each and everyone, everywhere to take action. I am so impressed and happy that you all went. ( I kinda knew you would.) I am certain the Lords' walk alongside and throughout, shed His light and love. It is beautiful to see people from all over in Haiti and doing all they can. I so want to be there with the mighty sword of the Word by my side and open arms. Thankyou for all you have done thus far, and putting out great info where to help and how...."with a mighty hand and outstretched arms, His love endures forever...sing praise, sing praise..." Forever God is with us, and His might in this country is needed, and for all they have gone through over time, here is where the people need the ministering and bibles...I am organizing a bible drive (with others in my church) with the help of a family we know who can route them to Haiti successfully...we are looking into translated versions and missionaries to carry out the responsibility of getting the gospel out! amen. All we can do and how little, how big, it all is for their knowing Our Creator...the Lord knows. Praying all are encouraged by each others efforts and love for our world. .."Come Together Now" is a tremendous tribute.. I wish for it to get out in many languages and reach the world.. All for His Kingdom and glory, love MaryLou ..." I'll be your friend for a lifetime, against the wind and the rain thru every season, won't walk away in the hard times, I will be your friend..."|
|Oscar - 2010-02-17|
|Well is amazing to see a MWS in Haiti, i live in costa rica and enjoy's your music Michael. And Pleople like me that i cannot have great things to give to others. Please GO AHEAD and God Bless you|
|Thank you! - 2010-02-16|
|Thank you so much sharing this with us...we pray for your ministry thanking God that people as you could be a little hope and encouragement in this so difficult situation! Be blesses!!|
|by Maria van der Bijl|
|Come together now - 2010-02-16|
|Thanks for the sharing! I feel hartbroken and grateful at the same time. God is doing wonderful things there, trough the sorrow and deep pain and grief! Praise Him for he is the Great and Almighty LORD!|
|Ms Linda - 2010-02-16|
|Thank You for taking time out and shedding a light on Haiti. God will bless you for all that you do.|
|Lord, have mercy... - 2010-02-16|
|just heard on local NBC network that it is felt another quake will come at least 5.0. We cannot forget; we cannot stop helping...we MUST remember and act! Wish we could get the FEMA trailers no longer used here over there...praying without ceasing.|
|by Lisa Syler|
|Haiti - 2010-02-15|
|Michael, thanks for sharing what you shared about Haiti!|
|by Neeta Chakrabartty|
|His hand and feet~ to the Nations - 2010-02-15|
|May we all GIVE deeply
and My GOD give us ideas on how each of us can come up with money to share with those that are with such needs. God tells us to reach out and care for the poor-- and Haiti right now has deep deep needs and as we each read of this we have now become responsible--- to care for our brothers and sisters--the mothers and the fathers- the Pastors- the grandmoms and Granddads --the children-each and everyone because God first loved...and because we are called to love our neighbor as ourself--how would I give if it were my child-my mom-my Dad-my Pastor? May God get all the glory--and HIS Name be praised all over Haiti!|
|by Renee C|