Haiti used to be a neighbour. Years ago, as a Peace Corps volunteer in Jamaica, I took a mailboat down to Trinidad. Along the way you get to hear what other islanders think of "your" island as well as what people from other islands think of the many, many islands in the Caribbean. Each island has a reputation.
I must admit, Jamaica's reputation wasn't always the best, but Haiti's reputation was dreadful. Hearing of the violence, even in those days made it hard to love our neighbour and a personal risk to bring development assistance.
As someone who was trained in hurricanne relief, I have the upmost respect for those aid workers going into help with the earthquake disaster. As much as I join others in praying for the victims, I also pray for those working to bring relief. For some, it must be a challenge that is more than anyone can imagine, to go into an island you do not know and try to help.
One aid group I want to bring to your attention today is Agape Flights. The people at Agape already know Haiti, and have supported missionaries living there for years. If you click on the link above, you can receive updates on their flights to provide medical support as well as cruicial supplies. My husband and I have visited the hangar a number of times and have seen the volunteer pilots and staff prepare to take an incredible array of items to approiximately 380 missionaries in Haiti, The Dominican Republic and the Bahamas. Normally there is a regular, weekly flight. At the moment, it's as many flights out to Haiti as possible! You can read how kind and generous small plane pilots have been to loan Agape their planes.
Sometimes, because of what we have heard, on the news or from other people, it can be a challenge to love our neighbour. We can look to the local governement and ask "what have you done to help your people over all these years?" We can also make a will choice to have mercy and do all we can to help in a time of need. Agape Ministries is right there, with knowlege of the land and love for the people. Take a moment to pray for their flights, supplies and tireless volunteer workers, as well as for the incredible people of Haiti. May God have mercy.