Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tears for Haiti

Everything else I might even have remotely thought to blog about today was driven out by the thoughts of Haiti.

Several years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Bill Nealey, Sr. He is an extraordinary man with a vision for the country of Haiti. Yes, he is a missionary, but I believe he is a missionary who does things the right way.

His was not the "browbeat people with their sins" type of ministry. He set out with a heart to physically help people, touching their lives so they would see the light of Christ in him. He founded Mission to Haiti, and one of the founding board members became the elder at a church I attended, so I really got to know Rusty well.

I trust that these people minister properly, use the money we send properly, give help to any in need, not just church members. I have been a child sponsor with them since before I was married, and I have read their monthly reports. Although I have not been able to go on a mission trip with them, I almost feel like I know some of the people they work with in Haiti. They work through the local pastors to meet the needs of any and all in the communities they serve.

We all know Haiti is desperately poor. Many of us don't know the political history as to why, but a good bit of it has to do with U.S. government policies. It was with U.S. government backing that a dam was built that took what little farmland so many had and put it under water. It was U.S. government backing that decided the pigs the people were raising, a main source of food and money, were somehow a danger, and took them for slaughter, replacing them with a totally different breed of pigs bought from strapped pig farmers in the U.S. Of course, the U.S. pigs died, being unable to live in the much hotter climate, being bred for the midwest, not the tropics. So the people were left with no land, and no pigs.

In all of this, their government has been totalitarian or in chaos for years.

Then, a couple of years ago, four major hurricanes in one season.

Now, massive destruction from an earthquake.

If ever there were a people who keep getting kicked when they are down, it is the Haitians.

My heart breaks for these precious people. I know help is being organized around the globe, but the logistical problems are many. Just getting the help to the country will be difficult, and in a country where getting from point A to point B was a serious undertaking, things will only be worse now.

I hope everyone who can will remember these people in their prayers, meditations, or almsgiving, whatever method they see fit.

"He who is kind to the poor lends to God." Proverbs 19:17

Today is:

Blame Someone Else Day

Change of Style Day

Door-to-Door Salespeople Day (Ouch.)

International Skeptics Day

Liberation Day, Togo

Make Your Dream Come True Day

Midvintersblot -- Ancient Norse Calendar (midwinter festival)

National Peach Melba Day

National Tractor Pull

Old New Year's Day, Wales (Julian Calendar)

Recuperation Fortnight begins -- Fairy Calendar (I think I need one of those!)

Rubber Duckie Day

Silvesterklause, Switzerland ("Old" New Year's celebration)

St. Knut's Day (a/k/a Little Christmas or Twentieth Day or Tyvendedagen among the Scandinavians, it is the day to "plunder" the tree put up on Christmas Eve, eating the candies and cookies that were decorating it, and puting all the other decorations away before the tree is removed.)

Stephen Foster Memorial Day

Strive and Succeed Day

Tiugunde Day -- Old England (midwinter offering, a celebration picked up from the Norse Midvintersblot)

Tyvendedagen, Norway (Twentieth day after Christmas, official end of Yuletide or "Juletid")

Birthdays Today:

Orlando Bloom, 1977
Patrick Dempsey, 1966
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, 1961
Richard Moll, 1943
Charles Nelson Reilly, 1931
Gwen Verdon, 1925
Army Archerd, 1922
Robert Stack, 1919
Sophia Tucker, 1884
Horatio Alger, 1832
Salmon P. Chase, 1808

Today in History:

Crusaders set fire to Mara, Syria, 1099
Elizabeth I is crowned Queen of England in Westminster Abbey, 1559
The Bank Of Genoa fails after the announcement of national bankruptcy in Spain, 1607
Jonathan Swift is ordained and Anglican priest in Ireland, 1695
John Walter publishes the first issue of the London Times, 1785
Dr. William Brydon, a surgeon in the British Army during the First Anglo-Afghan War, becomes famous for being the sole European survivor of an army of 16,500 when he reaches the safety of a garrison in Jalalabad, 1842
Anthony Foss patents the accordion, 1854
A chenille manufacturing machine is patented by William Canter of NYC, 1863
A circus fire in Poland kills 430, 1883
The first radio set is advertised, a Telimco for $7.50 in Scientific American; claimed to receive signals up to one mile, 1906

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