Social media and the news are full of negativity about Haiti. It is easy to get wrapped up in the stories and headlines, but choosing to focus on just the negative while not searching for goodness and hope is simply not honoring to the country of Haiti. Please take a few minutes to read what our Hands & Feet Project staff member recently shared about the country and the current news cycles. He has lived in Haiti and continues to travel there; he has a deep love for its people and a heart bent toward compassion.
Do Haiti a favor and turn off the news! Now, I’m not saying we should be naïve to the vast and growing humanitarian crisis in Haiti. I’m just suggesting we shouldn’t drown ourselves in it.
Hear me out. Our minds are an interesting place. I’m sure your parents, a teacher, or someone much older and wiser than you once said: be careful what you put in your mind, as it can be “garbage in and garbage out.”
So, as we are constantly inundated with information from around the globe and in our own neighborhoods, I ask that you adjust your input so that your output can make a difference.
I challenge you to check your resources and guard the content you’re reading and listening to regarding Haiti. Remember, just because it’s on Facebook or Google doesn’t mean it’s true.
Ask yourself the following…
- Are they trying to find any beauty among the ashes?
- Who are the heroes and antagonists?
- Is the story building up the dignity of those affected or is it heaping shame on those they’re telling the story about?
- Who is providing the news and updates? Is there a spin or specific agenda at play?
- Are they leading with the typical doom and gloom stats of Haiti? Is it more of the same old rhetoric or do they have something newsworthy to share?
Remember, even amongst the growing hardship and needs in Haiti, three things remain:
I get it – sometimes as we see all that’s happening in Haiti and the world around us, we get overwhelmed and don’t know what we can do.
So, as we are being intentional about our “input” and beginning to observe, filter, and maybe even change where we are getting our information and the effect it has on us, it’s vital we don’t sit idle and watch it all go by. You are receiving this letter because Haiti is on your radar and hopefully has a special place in your heart. With this, let’s see what steps we can take to help change the “doom and gloom” narrative of Haiti.
- Be mindful – show intentionality with the stories and news that you share about Haiti. Being informed is important, but let’s not let our desire for news tarnish others in the wake.
- Prioritize beauty – when news of hardship and pain are shared, can we help others see any beauty that is present in the chaos?
- Recognize the heroes – Haiti belongs to Haitians. Let’s do everything in our power to keep them the heroes of their own story. They can succeed, and it’s a great joy and honor to support and cheer them on as they do.
- Be an advocate – not just for the organization(s) you love and support, but for country of Haiti as a whole, the Haitian people, and for the hope of a brighter future for all. Share kingdom victories. Share the stories of the Haitian heroes doing the hard work on the ground day after day. Share smiles and joy.
- Be an encouragement – take the time and energy to encourage and love the Haitians who work tirelessly for their people and their country. As human beings, we all love to be reminded of our value and worth. Use your time to help encourage those in ministry who labor for the people and ministries you love and support.
- Seek dignity – whether through word or deed, would we and the organizations we support and work with, ALWAYS seek to dignify, honor, and support the Haitian community with love and respect.
- Pray – I know us church folks say this a lot, but this is a reminder to myself. I too often find myself caught in the weeds and influx of info coming from Haiti and get bogged down. Would we take time to pause, be silent, and then go to God as our creator and sustainer, for Americans and Haitians alike, asking for strength of faith, resilience, and resolve.