Today I returned from a grief break. After a week, week and a half, of web silence, I returned to the pavement.
I laced up my shoes. Put on my backpack of work clothes. And walked out the door to sunshine and a glorious temperature. I didn’t take Tinker or Bitsy. I wasn’t quite ready for the extra responsibility and care that requires. I needed to do this alone and as lightly as possible.
My younger sister once told me I was naive. We were discussing high school happenings and I responded, “That never happened while I was there!”
“Of course it did!” she responded. And she was right. It’s rather humbling to be the older sister and yet the ignorant one. I wouldn’t say I’m a half-glass full person, but I do tend to see beauty and good.
You may think that’s a wonderful thing. It is, until it isn’t. Until you’ve missed how people are affected by evil and tragedy. Until you’ve missed the utter bottomless pit of need in places like Haiti.
Did you know that in Haiti:
$2.42 per day is the poverty line. A human being, earning $2.42 or more for their labor is considered middle class. A hard-working, valuable human being that earns less than $2.42 for their day of work is in poverty.
6 million people live in poverty. That is 59% of the population.
Earning $1.23 or less for a day’s labor equals extreme poverty. 24.7% of the population lives in extreme poverty.
Approximately 84% of Haiti’s 10.4 million people do not earn enough to keep body and soul together.
Unemployment is 90%.
When I was young, my mother would tell me I wore my heart on my sleeve. And she was right. The good in that is I can sense people’s moods and emotions. I can express care and regard when needed. But the bad side is I can get totally overwhelmed when large groups of people suffer tragedy.
Did you know that in Haiti:
20% of all children die before their 5th birthday.
400,000 children are without parents.
32,000 children live in 760 orphanages. 80% of those children have one or both parents living. Why? See the statistics above.
Only 178 children were adopted by US citizens in 2016.
It’s too much. I can’t take it in. I almost gave up the battle for Grace Children’s Hospital before I even got started.
My heart hurt, my body hurt. I slept a lot. And I grieved for a situation that I couldn’t solve.
God cried with me. Then He dried my tears and reminded me that He didn’t ask me to bear the burden of all that pain alone. He asked me to walk and to talk and to help save one small light of hope…Grace Children’s Hospital.
GCH helps families stay together. They employ hard-working Haitian people. They take in the abandoned children. Grace Children’s Hospital holds clinics in the tent villages, bringing healthcare to people who can’t get to them.
They do it all while turning no one away.
The immensity of the need in Haiti has overwhelmed this vital ministry and they are financially depleted. The hospital needs our help to continue.
I can relate in a small way.
No one can carry this size burden alone.