A Prayer for Haiti


We now know, according to national health officials, that more than 1000 have died from cholera here in Haiti and that Haitian President Preval fears cholera riots will spread to Port-au-Prince today.  Violence aimed at UN peacekeepers began over the weekend in Cap-Haitien and Hinch, as well as smaller towns around the country—this amid unfounded fear that members of a Nepalese contingent brought the disease to Haiti.

In the midst of all this, I feel fairly safe in my small section of the city, Petion-ville, essentially the Beverly Hills of Port-au-Prince.  With 2 armed guards posted at my gate around the clock, whether there’s rioting in the capital or not, I’m blessed with a security so many here are forced to do without.

 Admittedly, Haiti isn’t all that safe for foreigners, especially in this city, where non-Haitians are kidnapped, on average, of once a day—mostly for ransom, sometimes because people are desperate, often because the prison here was damaged during the earthquake, allowing criminals to escape and (still on the loose) commit crimes against the very people who are here to help.  Not more than a month ago someone was kidnapped just outside the gym where I work out most mornings.

Unfortunately, my experience in Haiti is limited by these security concerns and the policies implemented by the NGO where my partner Sara works—one that, unlike some smaller organizations and church groups, has the size and funding to manage risk effectively. 

But I am safe.  And though I don’t work directly in the community, though I don’t go into the camps and feed the poor, I know I am doing my small part, providing a home for Sara and giving her (I hope) the security she needs—the strength to direct a massive disaster response operation for a housing NGO that works in nearly 100 countries.  

The effort sometimes leaves her a little frayed around the edges and me a bit torn up in the process. But, we are blessed to be together, loving one another, learning to love a country that has been fighting now for centuries—fighting first against colonial oppression, fighting later against oppressive dictators, and fighting now a disease that’s dictating the fate of way too many.

Please pray for us.  Please pray for Haiti!

12 thoughts on “A Prayer for Haiti

  1. It’s so good to see you’ve revitalized the blog–I think what you’ve done so far is beautiful, my friend. I hope you and Sara continue to stay healthy and safe–spoiled, as you say.

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  2. Thanks for the update, Kathryn. All I can say is, WOW! As I read your blog I couldn’t help imagining in my mind what it must be like for you and your partner, Sara. If it were me, I’m not sure that I could handle it. I will pray for you and for Haiti. Blessings.

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  3. Please know that we are praying for you and Sara and all the other folks in Haiti. Keep safe, know that we love you both and keep sending you thoughts to us. I love keeping in touch with ya’ll

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  4. you have been in my prayers since Whidbey – stay safe and well and continue to love each other and those around you in so much need of it …

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  5. The world is a better place for having people like you and Sara in it. I really admire your courage in leaving the safety and security of your home, to make life better for others.

    The cholera epidemic must be really scary for everyone. I’ve read it can kill within hours. What measures do you and Sara take to avoid getting sick?

    I have a whole bunch of questions I’d love to ask about what it’s like moving around the world doing this kind of work. Maybe you’d consider suggestions for future blog topics?

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    • In terms of safety, I try to buy and eat only raw vegetables that are packaged in the US or Dominican Republic. Though a fan of white food group, I still love salads, so we wash vegetables in bottled water. Actually, Lisa, I’d love to hear some of your suggestions for future topics. Take care and thanks for reading!

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