Random thoughts on Life, Leadership, & Messy Spirituality

Haiti – The Real Story on the Ground

I’m handing this blog over to a friend of mine, Shaun King, Pastor of Courageous Church in Downtown Atlanta. Shaun has been on the ground in Haiti since right after the earthquake helping with rescue & relief efforts. I’m going to share with you in his words – the real story of what’s happening on the ground in Haiti – which is quite different than we’re hearing from our news & government. Here is Shaun’s assessment sent via twitter…

“Setting out my SoapBox. About to step on it for a few tweets. 1st my opinions then quotes from leaders on the ground in Haiti… ALL OF THE “EXPERTS” ARE DEAD WRONG….. When the earthquake 1st hit, thousands of you immediately wanted to go and help BE the solution, be the hands & feet of God… But you were told by the experts NOT TO COME. You were told to wait until some magical time when things were much better… The experts were wrong. Some probably meant well because they didn’t want you to get hurt or be in the way, but let me tell you what is missing in Haiti – passionate, hard-working, unskilled, loving, non-experts. They are in SHORT SUPPLY. I mean RARE!

Consequently, the MAJORITY of supplies are sitting unused & the teams of unskilled non-experts I am advising are regularly… 9 days later – arethe first people to have ever visited orphanages and disaster sites. They ALL tell me that we should have IGNORED the experts. Let me tell you a story that will kill you. The caretaker of the Notre Dame orphanage told us She heard dozens of dying babies trapped in the rubble scream & cry for 5 whole days before they all died. 55 babies died. Nobody ever came.

The growing feeling here in Haiti is that the BIG ORGS & government don’t really care. It’s like they are here b/c the world is focused here. If they care, little passion or compassion is ever displayed. Seems like a job or obligation. Even my sponsoring organization…. (name of large Christian org) pretty much just set up a tent, gave us a vest and stickers and said go. No support. No passion. No questions. Large amounts of supplies are just sitting in boxes everywhere. I have seen them there for days while hurting people & doctors NEED THEM. This has opened my eyes wider to the wastefulness of large charities and benefit of small, nimble, passionate groups.

I have been in Haiti for 6 days and I still have not seen one large Red Cross presence. I honestly think social media has Saved more lives since the earthquake than all the 3-4 great organizations here now. Passion. Relationships. Technology has changed the game. We saved so many lives today and it was just us doing it bro. Thanks for listening.”

I’ll just add – DO NOT listen to our government! They do not want too big of a U.S. presence in the relief efforts – thus upsetting the rest of the world. All I can say is that when there are millions of people suffering, starving, & dying – who cares what other countries, or our own government, thinks! If you can go help – GO!!!

Just let that soak in for a while & I’ll follow up on this later.


One response

  1. Natalie Lagace

    This is not a surprise to me at all. Its sad.

    January 22, 2010 at 5:35 pm

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