I returned from Haiti ready for full-blown action. When you are on the ground and you see the enormous need you are certainly spurred on to do something about it. I think it’s nearly impossible to spend time in a refugee camp that desperately needs food, water, shelter and medical care and not be compelled into action.
In the almost three weeks since my return from Haiti I’ve been going at non-stop speed. Unfortunately I’m behind in so many responses with about 250 unanswered emails. I’ve been speaking to almost anyone who would listen – yes me, the woman who doesn’t like public speaking. And only recently did I get a few moments to sit, process, and pray about it all. That should have been the first thing I did.
Needless to say, when I let all of it sink in it certainly moves me to tears. __In spite of the resiliency and the images of hope and laughter, I’ve been a little overwhelmed with all we must to do help. And we absolutely MUST do something.__
As I’m on the fundraising trail, knowing that without the financial resources it will be impossible for us to do our job. I’ve been blessed by the unexpected this week. For me it was a continual reminder from Jesus that he loved me and was going to provide in ways that were His.
Let me tell you some of the blessings for me this past week:
On Monday I received a call from someone I met 2 ½ years ago. This man saw me on the news during the Peru earthquake in 2007. That newscast resulted in raising about $200 total and made me question if I should ever spend time on media efforts again. This man asked if I had received his donation yet. When the mail arrived that day I found a check for $2,000 for Haiti relief. He doesn’t know me well, but he has watched our organization for the last 2 ½ years since he first saw that media broadcast. When the earthquake happened in Haiti he decided he wanted to give to us. I called to inform him that I received it and on behalf of my organization and the communities we are serving in Haiti that I was very grateful. His response to me was “Jenise, this is a gift from Jesus.”
On Tuesday I received a check for $52.48 from a kindergarten teacher with a note that her class did a drive “Pennies for Haiti” and this is what the kindergarten class collected. Kindergarteners doing what they could to help those they would never meet.
Later that week I read through an email from a mother who was explaining that her 5 year old son heard about the kids in Haiti that had a need and wanted to collect band aides for them because they didn’t have any.
And on Friday I returned to Whittier Christian High School where I had been the chapel speaker the week before. The school decided to do three things to help Haiti. First, they were going to do a hygiene drive to collect needed items to go into a container shipment. Second they were going to do a fundraiser with a goal of 2010 – $2,000 in 10 minutes. And third they are going to come in and volunteer their time sorting and packing supplies. That $2,000 goal was more than tripled as they ended up raising $6,423.33 to help Haiti.
**So as I sit with the thoughts of the refugee camp still fresh in mind and an overwhelming task much too large ahead of me, I remember that it’s not too big for the God who created the heavens and the earth.** As I continue to share the needs and what we can do together I see that God will use the unexpected – so often the children – to care for the most vulnerable in Haiti.
I’ll try and sleep a little more peaceful this week, giving to God the weight of the problem, and continuing to work hard to do my part to share the message and to try and be a little bit more like Jesus here on earth.
Remember to keep praying for those in Haiti!