Today, 30 days after the earthquake, was a national day of mourning in Port Au Prince. Crowds gathered to mourn, pray and sing. More than 200,000 people have died. It's insane for me to remember the moment 30 days ago when most of those people lost their lives. And it's even more troubling to think about those that died under the rubble in the days that followed. It seems like way too much grief for one country to have to handle. Even as we see people going about their daily lives, I wonder how it is they can move forward. I met one woman last week that had lost four of her five children and she seemed numb, another guy who had lost his pregnant wife and had been drunk for days.
At the same time, we've lost so little and yet are also finding it difficult to move forward. Today we flew from Pennsylvania to Charlotte. It was strange to be among people on business trips, vacation, traveling to visit family... since our own lives have been totally consumed by what happened in Haiti on January 12th. Being out of Haiti has intensified our grief in a way that we didn't expect.
This evening we were sent a copy of the following corporate prayer, held at the MCC office in Akron today in honor of Haiti's day of mourning:
At 4:53 pm a month ago, a magnitude 7 earthquake hit Haiti. We gather together today to remember the lives lost and those forever changed by this event. During the times of silence we will have bells ringing to remember the 200,000 lives lost and the millions homeless and or injured. Let us pray.
We mourn the death and destruction in Haiti, And we pray for each person who died and the life left behind;
We pray for the living - the survivors.
Be with them, Lord, in this traumatic time.
May they experience Your healing,
In their spirits as well as their bodies.
We are so thankful for the way individuals and communities affected have come together in solidarity. We are awed by the resilience of the Haitian people. We are grateful too for the world community as they have responded to this crisis as they offer aid and comfort.
Gracious God, we pray that the depth of despair felt by the people of Haiti will be buoyed by the many who care. We pray that as we walk along side that we can be your hands and feet to minister to all those in need, as life builds up from the ruins.
Grant us the strength to do what is needed, the wisdom to do it with care, and the endurance to do it well.
Bless the MCC staff in Haiti and the myriad of volunteers going and coming - we pray for travel mercies and safety as they work along side Haitians and others from the world community.
God in your mercy, hear our prayer.