On my way to yoga tonight, I finally received a long-awaited email from one of the many contacts I have reached out to that work in Haiti in relief. I have been trying to gather contacts that can help me in my passion and goals to help developing communities with flooding issues for well over a year now. I have been seeking those who are on the field and understand the day-to-day needs of the people so I can focus on the needs most pressing. In my opinion, it is foolish to jump on a plane, land somewhere, and try to make decisions without getting to know the people first and those that have worked with them. These contact attempts include: NGO’s, governmental agencies, churches, missionaries, engineering organizations, USAID, UN, authors, professors – you name it – just to learn a little more about the pressing needs in Haiti (and other countries) and how my skills could help. I’ve probably contacted 50 or so people, and maybe 2 have responded with any kind of help.
I sent this particular gentleman, mentioned above, nearly a dozen emails describing my previous international work, my goals with Haiti and academic research, our upcoming trip to Haiti (now cancelled due to lack of contacts), and my vision. I sought one hour of his time since I would already be in-country to just talk to me and describe what he has learned about these people and their struggles. I wanted to know the obstacles he has faced in Haiti, the stories he has heard/witnessed, and his understanding of this beautiful country to help shape my understanding of it.
His response (finally, after 5 emails, one each month since November, all of which he blatantly ignored): “We aren’t really in the business of handing out food or lodging. I don’t mean to sound harsh, but you kind of really need to take care of those things yourself. Perhaps the U.S. Embassy can help. Sorry.”
Come again? You aren’t in the business of handing out food or lodging? Did I ever ASK you for food or lodging? No. I had that taken care of. Did you even take 5 minutes to truly read any of my emails? No. Do you even care about the people you serve enough to hear me out so I can serve along side you in the common fight for justice? Doesn’t seem like it.
I left that email feeling very jaded and despondent. It seemed as if I was fighting this all alone and no one else in the entire world shared my passion and drive. I was, in a word, despondent.
My flesh wanted to throw a pity-party and cry, but something in me knew that this wasn’t the time for that nonsense. This was the time to seek out strength and perseverance in the only One who can give it to me. I prayed to God to not let my flame die out and tried to trust Him that He is right there with me planning everything in advance and is proud of my efforts.
God knows our hearts, and is so faithful to answer. When I got home, my loving husband spoke to me truth, and I know it was from God. He encouraged my heart and suggested some other options I could take (one of which is actually coming to fruition TODAY! I have a phone call with a gentleman who works full-time with a very respectable Christian engineering non-profit organization). God heard my prayers of doubt and concern, and immediately answered with this video:
Is Justice Worth It?