Friday, January 15, 2010

Quaking Aspens No Longer Stand in Haiti


Haiti once was a beautiful land, filled with various vegetation, hills and mountains. Because of natural disasters and the need for fuel (wood to burn), the forests have been ravaged. Less than 5% of the forests exist today. No more are there any quaking aspens, only a quaking land of desperate people.

A year ago I took a class on international development. For the class, the instructor had been asked to put together a project that identified the problems and needs of the country of Haiti for the purpose of humanitarian service for a Non-Government Organization (NGO). We were divided up into groups that addressed the many issues that impoverished countries face every day, week after week, year after year. Needless to say, after six weeks into our research I felt no hope for the people living in Haiti. There had been so many years of corruption, disasters and no means for a people to rebuild themselves. The country has received billions of aid over the years—but the money and resources rarely got to the end of the row.

    My idealistic solution was to relocate all the people living in Haiti to other countries for ten years. I know, that seems pretty severe and unrealistic. But considering the daily challenges they face to survive, other places would be better. Part of the plan for people as they relocated to other countries would to plant trees and other vegetation as they left. While people were gone, the land could restore itself without being stripped daily of all its natural resources. It would have a time to heal.

    Now today, Haiti is faced with yet another natural disaster in which the seeds of despair are as deep as the mighty earthquake they experienced. Again, people throughout the world are willing and wanting to come to the aid of these people. As I read and see photos of the situation, my heart breaks for the many families that have lost loved ones and the devastation! I pray silently for the Lord's intervention for the people of Haiti and for those that are able to facilitate relief to so many. May the Lord be with you always.