On Saturday morning, August 14th, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake shook the fragile island nation of Haiti from its epicenter in the southwestern peninsula. Over a decade ago, a similar event took more than 220,000 lives and displaced over a million. Haiti never recovered.
Live Global worker Gary says, “This is the same area in Haiti that was hit in 2016 by CAT-5 Hurricane Matthew that caused catastrophic devastation to people and structures. Now they face this.”
In addition, political instability and impacts from COVID combine to create a perfect storm. Gary explains.
“Haiti is under the most intense gang control and warfare that they have seen in decades. The government is transitional and the civil police and military are not functioning well. All of this makes access to the areas most affected impossible or at the very least extremely dangerous.”
Rescuers responding to this newest disaster search for survivors and expect the death count to rise. Two days after this quake, efforts paused as Tropical Depression Grace washed over the island. It dumped inches of rain on people left homeless and vulnerable. How do we begin to help in such a heavy crisis?
Combined crises like these in Haiti call for prayer and action.
10 Practical Ways to Pray
- Provision of basic essentials people need: clean water, food, shelter, light.
- Availability of medical supplies: current supplies in country, supplies being sent.
- Skill for emergency personnel: organize, prioritize, manage flow of needs and treatment.
- Electrical power available for needs: rescue efforts, medical interventions, law keeping.
- Unhindered transportation of relief supplies: airplanes, trucks, cars, foot travel, distribution.
- Protection of the vulnerable: the elderly, the disabled, the children, the injured, the orphaned, the lost.
- Cooperative decision-making for leaders: national and local leaders, the international community.
- Restraint for those who would exploit, abuse, or violate others: gangs, corrupt officials, desperate individuals.
- Christian courage: prayerfulness, faithful witness, sacrificial giving, encouragement.
- Planning for partners: international missions, relief organizations, crisis plans, wise use of resources, logistics
How do we help in response to such a heavy crisis?
First, we call out to God who knows the need of every individual in this crisis. These unspeakable pains can be and will be used for God’s glory in ways we can’t conceive.
Second, we call out more. We do the work of faithfulness in prayer, not looking away or falling asleep while suffering unfolds. We keep asking for gospel redemption of earthly pains.
Then, we respond to the individual prompting of God.
- We may be uniquely qualified with skills needed on the ground in Haiti, so we may go.
- We may be uniquely resourced with more than we need, with resources the suffering need, so we may give.
- We may be uniquely available to carry a heavier load of prayer, so we may pray on.
When the ground shakes as it did Saturday and then receives inches of rain like it did on Monday, no one just walks away. God’s heart turns to Haiti, so we follow His heart.