For most Haitians, it seems as if there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Tragedy is all too familiar. Unfortunately Haiti was in the midst of cleaning up the damages from the earth quake that struck the country just six short years ago, when the super storm hit. It is no secret that this third world country does not have the resources to fix what has been done. A few weeks ago, Hurricane Matthew ripped through the island with 145-mile-per-hour winds.
Now that the storm has passed and aid groups have reached the majority of the affected areas, we can see the aftermath of the storm. Despite the trials the country has faced, the Haitians remain a people of gratitude. They are completely selfless. Nothing can describe the incredible faith of the Haitians. Everything has been taken away from them, however they have not lost hope. They are confident that God has saved them. They view the cave as a gift from God. As one elderly woman expressed her hope, “God has not left us”.
Unfortunately, what remains of the Haitians’ homes does not provide enough protection. When the rain comes at night the Haitians run to the caves to take refugee. For the Haitians, these caves are a “holy” place; their natural protection. One villager described it as a “house that God created when we needed it most”. The caves are a sanctuary. The locals must sit and watch as the rainstorms pass. Fear has already stuck with the people. Many didn’t leave the caves for four days in fear of another hurricane.
As the days go by, residents have began to piece together what rubble remains. Miraculously they do it without complaint. It will take years to fix what was already somewhat broken. Their humble abodes will unfortunately be in worse condition. Locals from all over have come together to help assist each other in anyway that they can. Many of the Haitians live in villages were everyone is one is on a first name basis. They know the names of those who are lost. The are not just victims… they are brothers, friends, mothers, and fathers.
Hurricane Matthew has really put things into perspective. It is very important to take a step back and be grateful. Grateful that we have somewhere to sleep at night. Grateful that we don’t have to worry about where our next meal will come from. Grateful to know that our loved ones are safe. Grateful to know that tomorrow will be a better day. It is our duty to reach out and help those affected by the hurricane.
The next few months and possibly even years will not be easy for the people of Haiti. They will have to find a way to produce crops from fields that have now been flooded and destroyed. They will have to rebuild homes and entire towns. Many will have to start from scratch. However, the country of Haiti will be lifted up with support from those all around the world. A country that has seen such hardship is sure to rise above the devastation of a hurricane. As borne proudly on the Haitian flag, “L’Union Fait La Force”, Unity Makes Strength.
(continued from last week)