As of the last week in January, I have been working as the Haiti Emergency Coordinator for Outreach International, a charity affiliated with the Community of Christ. Since the 1980s, Outreach International has supported a network of about 90 schools catering to 9,000 students in Haiti. About 30 of these schools were in the earthquake-affected area, most of which are damaged or destroyed, affecting over 1,200 children. The following are links to reflections on my first visit to Haiti in early February, as serialized in The Examiner (Independence, MO):
1. “Finding Ways to Help Haiti.”
2. “Work and Worry Take a Toll on Relief Effort in Haiti.”
3. “The Question of Reconstruction or Development.”
4. “Leaving Haiti Only to Return.”
For more information on Outreach International’s work in Haiti, click here. To support our efforts to rebuild and strengthen our education program in Haiti, click here. I will be returning to Haiti for a further assessment mission on Monday.
Wonderfully written posts, Matt! I really liked your opening vignette to the “The Question of Reconstruction or Development.” Having worshiped on one Sunday with the creole-speaking CofC church in Montreal(a group of mostly Haitian immigrants), I could imagine the style of worship you described. And I really liked how your richly descriptive scenes led into a simplified, understandable point about international development. A lay person like me (who has never taken a class on int’l dev) can really grasp the tensions you highlight in your posts. Writing can be a real ministry. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for posting this Michael – I look forward to the next installment. I appreciate your feelings of guilt for the great divide between those of us who live even quite modestly in our privileged worlds compared to those in these areas of great poverty and want. Although the needs seem overwhelming, we must be in the business of doing what we can. Your reporting helps us gain a little more understanding.
Here is a further reflection I wrote, following my most recent trip to Haiti:
“Reflecting on the joy and sorrow that rain brings”