Tuesday, May 4, 2010

COMPASSION BEYOND NEWS CYCLES

Who cares--and why and how--after the news crews move on?

Standing in the heart of Port-au-Prince with some of the children whose world had been turned upside down on January 12, I felt overwhelmed.  I wondered: How can they cope in the face of such large-scale devastation?  Will they recover?  Where do they go from here?

Now, it’s been four months since the quake.  International news crews are gone. The world’s attention has migrated to the latest crisis while Haitian children still sleep outside under tarps and in tents.  But my post-quake experience goads me.  I wonder: How is it that folks move on so easily, half-hoping tough problems get solved somehow by somebody else? What kind of societies and religions put desperate, out-of-sight people out of mind?

But the Biblical faith I was taught—and that has captured me—is different.  So is the authentic Church.  We don’t move on because we tire of a story.  We don’t casually conform to the world’s patterns.  We know problems aren’t solved quickly or easily or by throwing money at them.  And we’re convinced there’s something greater at stake than relief and rebuilding.

Here are three enduring principles that have become so apparent and critical to me in the wake of the Haitian disaster:

1. No child can be discounted, cast aside or left behind.  Disregarded people create a drag the world can no longer ignore or pay for.  This applies not only to Haiti and children but to all discarded people the world over.  Our futures are linked together.  We ignore desperate lives at own peril.

2. If the world is going to be changed, it will be through a Gospel-based investment in children.  Sponsoring kids in Haiti a generation ago has returned a cadre of emerging Christian leaders, like ICCM Field Coordinator Mondale Perkins Oscar.  The Gospel borne holistically to children not only instills sound life principles but brings living hope and power for transformation across lifetimes and communities.

3. When we respond with grace to “the least of these,” we align our lives with the future God intends.  With Haiti, we all have an opportunity to get in sync with what God is doing to bring beauty for ashes, strength from tears.  We get to co-labor with God in anticipation of a world in which all love their neighbors as themselves.

I’m proud to be part of International Child Care Ministries at this particular time.  I am witnessing compassion that transcends news cycles.  I’m listening to sponsors express God-like concern for the children they invest in.  I’m observing people continuing to sign up to go help Haiti heal.  And I’m confident that by God’s grace we will together see a new Haiti—a Haiti buoyed by vibrant faith—rise from the rubble to the glory of God. 


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1 comment:

  1. Good stuff! I'm looking forward to more reports from Haiti from your front. I'm hearing many stories about revived Christian faith in that beleaguered country, despite the tragedy.

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