Friday, January 15, 2010

"It's so hard to help."

I was trying to prepare myself for what we would encounter when we started handing out water. In situations like this there are two types of people. There are those that are grateful for what they can find or are given and are often humble. There are others who in that state of need feel that they have to take more than they need because they might not ever have again. We encountered both today and it was difficult and frustrating. After handing out bread from the truck in a giant, open former sports arena now turned refuge camp the only thing Jean could say as we drove away was, “It’s so hard to help.” His point was that sometimes the very people you are trying to help make it difficult for themselves and others. Jackson and I looked at our hands that were scratched and bleeding from being mauled and it made me sad. I was sad because I saw the desperation in the eyes of some of the kids that so badly just wanted one piece of bread, but had to fight those that felt they needed to take everything they could. I tried my best to try and connect one piece of bread with one hand at a time to make sure it got spread around, but it was hard. So very hard.
Rollings in Haiti share what is happening in Haiti right now as they do what they can to help. For those who have not seen the numerous links to Chris's moving post about his experience of the earthquake, which I found via New Advent, I encourage reading it to get a real feel for bringing a personal, human feeling to the large numbers that can tend to overwhelm us from general media reports.

More on Helping
  • There are many relief organizations we can support who are working to help in Haiti and the one I am choosing to use is Catholic Relief Services.

  • The USCCB is urging pastors to take up a second collection this Sunday for relief efforts. If your church doesn't do it this weekend, ask your pastor about doing it next weekend. 

  • Jeffrey Overstreet tells us about a recently published book of Haitian teenagers' photographs. Buying it will garner a $10 donation to Haitian relief.


  1. “It’s so hard to help.”

    there really needs to be grace all 'round, not just on the part of the giver. I've really come to see that in trying to help people.

    So let's pray that needed grace becomes available.