I'm listening to President Obama talk about the incomprehensible 7.0 earthquake in Haiti. I'm glad that he has dedicated the full support of the United States to a people who are, as he just said, "no stranger to hardship."
Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere (Nicaragua and Haiti flip back and forth in the unfortunate top spot). 80% of the country lives in poverty and most Haitians live on less than $2 a day. 66% work in small scale subsistence farming and the government is always listed as one of the most corrupt.
They provided an even easier solution: You can donate $10 to be charged to your cell phone bill by texting "HAITI" to "90999."
I did it. So should you. It goes to the Red Cross Int'l Response Fund. You have the option of getting additional alerts on Haiti via text as well.
In a precarious world where madmen fly planes into buildings and people shoot up college campuses the saddest of all disasters are those that don't even require an action by a human being. They are unexplainable, frustrating and they stretch our belief in a loving God.
We all want a God who saves us from disaster. But God doesn't save us and when we go looking for our savior we find Him hanging on a cross. Indeed the wood of the manger has become the wood of the cross today and we find the sufferings of Christ united with the people of Haiti and with our own sadness for the lives that have been lost. Our God is the God who suffers with us, who intimately knows our pain and more importantly, our death.
Our prayers go especially to children who have lost their parents today and for all of the Haitian people. I found this video on You Tube from a mission trip to Haiti. The pictures are of Haiti BEFORE the earthquake. This gives you an idea of the devistating poverty that people experience in Haiti.
Your humble blogger is Mike Hayes, a well-known expert in the world of young adult ministry (20s and 30s) in the Catholic Church. Mike is the author of Googling God (Paulist, 2007) where he explores both the chaotic world that young people live in and their religious reactions to that world. He also explores the age of instant gratification and how churches can respond to the needs of the young adult age by using technology alongside more traditional ministry methods.
Mike founded the award winning BustedHalo.com® in 2001 and continues to contribute to it as the editor of their catechetical section appropriately named Googling God.
Recently, he left BustedHalo® to focus on more direct ministry with young people at St Joseph University Parish as a Campus Minister for the South Campus at the University at Buffalo.
He has only two loves: his adorable wife, Marion and a nine pound chihuahua named Haze, who still find him amusing enough to let them live in their home.