[ Audio Version: haiti.mp3 ]

The news from Haiti is disheartening and overwhelming. As we’re all aware by now, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Monday afternoon, leveling entire sections of Haiti, including much of the densely populated capital, Port-au-Prince. Images of the thousands of dead, the collapsed buildings, the millions of hungry and displaced Haitians, have flooded the news channels over the past few days, inundating the rest of the world with the unimaginable suffering that is taking place in the region.

Humanitarian groups, missionaries, peacekeepers and even members of the Armed Forces are sifting through the rubble and trying to save lives, moment by moment. Heroic efforts continue by the minute, as people race to rescue those trapped and tend to those who are sick and injured.

For many of us, watching the news coverage has been difficult; not just because of the troubling images of death and destruction, but also, because of the elephant in the room. For many of us, the images hit home in a profoundly sickening way. The glaring reality of generational, systemic poverty; of the stark contrast between what many people refer to as “first” and “third” worlds, has been on full display. Painful truths have seeped into the world’s consciousness.

There are many things to be said about what has led us here. After all, Port-au-Prince was not unbuilt in a day. It took decades of neglect, as most of the world repeatedly turned a blind eye to the ongoing humanitarian crisis there. In fact, there is much to be conveyed and understood about the reality of Haiti, about the millions of starving mothers and children, the flimsy construction of unsafe homes, the harsh ramifications of indifference. It took the majority of planet becoming well-adjusted to injustice and this is something we all must not only inherit, but own.

However, this is not the time, nor the place for a nuanced political or theological arguments. Right now, our brothers and sisters are dying and they are in desperate need of our assistance. Please, with all of the love your heart can muster, give what you can. Please, pray for the recovery of these people. Pray for healing, for the lives lost, for the families shattered, for the memories gone, for the uncertain future and for the unfathomable amount of work that lies ahead.

Sooner or later, we, as human beings, must wake up from this false dream of isolation and separation into the glorious realization that we are all family and that we must serve one another, with love and compassion. The mother who loses her children in Haiti is Our Mother. The child being buried is Our Child. We are undeniably connected, because we share this sacred space. Our respect for all human life should transform our sense of dominion over one another. We are truly our sisters’ and brothers’ keeper.

This is our call, our task, our gift, our blessing and our primary function: to serve other human beings in our glorious, unitive family. And our Haitian family, in particular, needs us very badly at this moment.

Although Monks Without Borders does not have an active chapter in the region, we will do what we can to bring relief to our beloved Haitian family. We will intercede, the best we can, by financially contributing to relief efforts, including encouraging our donors, members and friends to contribute to Yele, Unicef or The Red Cross, and by offering prayers to those who are so deeply affected by this unspeakable tragedy.

Thank You,
Monks Without Borders