22 January 2010

We don't know you, but we know best

According to a recent editorial from Slate, the U.S. is focusing too much on security in Haiti, and missing the important point: people are dying, not because they're insecure, but because they have no food. The 'facts' in the article are indubitably less factual than the author makes them out to be, but I think his thesis is at least partly correct: Haiti doesn't need 10,000 troops. It needs ten times 10,000 MREs, and maybe 2,000 troops with knowledge and supplies to rescue and treat the wounded.

I'm reminded of a Jars of Clay song: Light Gives Heat. It's a song about modern aid, how foreigners come in to "save the children from their lands, wash the darkness from their skin". The title here is also a lyric from that song.

I've been following the efforts of MAF (Missionary Aviation Fellowship) and Compassion International. Both have been in Haiti for decades, and they understand and can communicate with Haitans. MAF specializes in flying supplies in and wounded out; Compassion works with the church and the children.

An MAF pilot secures a load of food for Haitians stranded on an island. See his comments here.

Tonight, I listened to a conference call between Wess Stafford, Compassion's president, and their Vice President for the Latin American Region, Edouard Lassegue. Stafford lived in Haiti for four years, and Lassegue grew up there. Hearing the pain and the hope in the voices of both men is incredible. And it's good to hear the facts, from people that know the people.

The Hatian earthquake is not, as some have concluded, an act of God's wrath. If that were so, we'd all be dead. There is not one time in the New Testament that God destroys a city or a people. Jesus reached out to the immoral.

Edouard Lassegue didn't ask for money for Haiti. He asked for prayers. So let's pray.


  1. Be Generous with Both - that's what Jesus would do.