Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I am Haitian

An unexpected “side effect” if you will of the earthquake in Port-au-Prince and all the media attention there, is that all of a sudden everyone worldwide suddenly is aware of Haiti’s existence and of their poverty and need for help. We have been ministering there for over 20 years and found that most people we encountered in the US didn’t even know where Haiti was, much less any details about it. Haiti has never been the “hot topic” or trendy subject in missions. Haiti was blamed for spreading AIDS in the 80’s. The US government even refused to recognize Haiti as an independent country in 1804. It was very far from people’s minds. Haitians that are in the US, in general, haven’t wanted to admit that they were Haitians. When we encountered them, in a store for instance, they’d say they were from the Caribbean or “the islands”. They’d almost never say Haiti unless they heard us speak Creole to them.

Now, it seems, the earthquake has given them an identity, it has validated them as a people. Haitians worldwide are proudly saying, “I’m a Haitian”. From NFL football players, recording artists, authors and artists, to the grocery store clerk or lawn care man, Haitians are coming forward and publically holding up the Haitian flag. Never in the history of man has a mass effort been made to help Haiti. The telethon that was recently held for Haiti was on 85 stations and was televised worldwide. It was surreal to switch from channel to channel and see Haiti cared for. Wow!

These photos were posted by a friend on Facebook. They show that Haiti is on the minds of people as far away as Thailand and Asia.

It’s just so cool to see this. But its heartwrenching that it took a major disaster to do it.

You have seen Haiti on the news as it is now. Here is a link to the side of Haiti that is never shown. Most of the photos are of Port-au-Prince as it was, but is now gone. They are beautiful. I’ve never seen a collection like it. It is well worth your time to check them out.