Saturday, February 6, 2010

HAITIANS RESILENT, HOPEFUL SOULS RESURRECTED

Not the headline I'd give it, but this is my Letter to the Editor published today in the Indianapolis Star

The perspective conveyed in The Star ("Frustrations grow in Haiti," Feb. 3) belies a larger picture of what is occurring in Port-au-Prince. In spite of frustrations with relief distributed by international aid organizations and a decapitated government, I witnessed gracious and hopeful acts among Haitians.

I just returned from a week in Port-au-Prince where I served with a relief and response team of the Free Methodist Church. We delivered water filters, established a well-drilling team and assessed damages at 16 schools supported by International Child Care Ministries. We also moved forward the excavation of a collapsed building where Indianapolis missionary Rev. Jeanne Acheson-Munos was killed in the Jan. 12 quake. 

I have seen people swinging sledgehammers at mountains of concrete, steel and rebar. I have seen residents sweeping away the debris. I have seen neighbors share the little food they have with one another. I have seen outdoor markets bustling with exchange of goods. I have witnessed Haitians, still shocked and fear-filled, walk into buildings, sit down at desks and work.

On Sunday, I watched hundreds of Haitians walking through rubble to gather for public worship -- an expression of unshakable faith in a completely shakable world. The earthquake may well have revealed and resurrected the resilient and hopeful soul of Haiti's people.

John Hay Jr.
Indianapolis
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