Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Hurricanes with a death toll/ Reducing poverty through the church

Today I (Ben) drove an MCC truck to the Baptist Mission above Port-Au-Prince with a few other people. It was nice to get a chance to drive. When we left the city it was raining lightly, but as we gained altitude the wind increased. There were trees down on the road. And at one point, we came to a telephone poll that had fallen across the road. A group of guys with machetes would move it when passing vehicles gave them money, then drag it back across the road. I scraped under and drove over a lot of down power lines. At one fallen tree we had to wait half an hour while guys cut it up with axes and machetes.

Hurricane Hanna is currently pounding Haiti. The city of Gonaives, a few hours north, is flooding and it’s very likely that a lot of people are dying right now. Gonaives is in a flood prone area, where 2,800 people died from flooding after hurricane Jeanne in 2004. Relief organizations are on their way out there now but it’s still raining. There are also two more hurricanes heading this way, Ike and Josephine.

We are in Port-Au-Prince now studying Creole a few hours a day. Our teacher is really good and passes on cultural insights when he thinks of them. One thing he said recently was,“Haiti is a place where the impossible is possible and the possible is impossible”.

We visited one of MCC's partner organizations today that is working through the church to reach the UN’s millennium development goals. Here in Haiti they are raising awareness about what the church's role should be in eliminating poverty and promoting social justice and environmental stewardship... It's very impressive, I think Jesus would dig it. The “Micah Challenge is a global Christian campaign. Our aims are to deepen our engagement with impoverished and marginalized communities; and to challenge international leaders, and leaders of rich and poor countries, to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, and so halve absolute global poverty by 2015.”

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