Haiti Shaken

Posted Jan 13, 2010 by 7 Comments

As you have no doubt already heard by now, Haiti has been struck by a massive earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale.  Details are just now beginning to filter in, but it seems clear that this will be one of the worst natural disasters to ever hit the impoverished nation.

According to BBC News, the quake has killed many, left many more wounded and has disrupted power lines and communication networks across the capital city of Port au Prince.  It is still unclear just how devastating the earthquake (and its two aftershocks, measuring 5.9 and 5.5 in magnitude) will be, but many are fearing the worst.

What Do We Know?

Many people have asked me what I know about the situation because I was just there a few months ago.  I don’t know much more than anyone else, but I can say a few things for certain:

  • Nehemiah Vision Ministries is based in the village of Chambrun, around 30 miles northeast of the epicenter of the quake.  Although most buildings in the village are simple one-story huts, there is still the possibility of damage.  We have not heard anything from Chambrun.
  • Pastor Pierre was in Trinidad when the earthquake struck, but his family was still at home on the outskirts of the capital city of Port au Prince.  He is on a plane this morning headed back to Haiti, but we have heard no word yet from his family.
  • The presidential palace in ruins. (c)BBC News

    Haiti’s presidential palace (their version of the white house), a landmark at the center of the city, has collapsed, but the President is reportedly unharmed.  The only reason I mention this is to point out just how devastating this quake will be to the national psyche of Haiti.  Imagine if the White House and Capital Building were to collapse in Washington D.C…

  • In a country as impoverished as Haiti, an earthquake like this will be unspeakably devastating.  Millions of people live in very close proximity.  Buildings are made from shoddy materials.  A weak infrastructure means that aid will be ineffective and disorganized.  In short, this tragedy will not be over soon.

What Can You Do?

With disasters like this, many of us have the tendency to throw up our hands in frustration, asking “What can I possibly do about it?”  However, there is a part that we can each play…

  • Spend some serious time in prayer.  Many many people are suffering right now in a country that is just miles from our own.  Pray for the effectiveness of aid organizations.  Pray for the strength of the people who must now literally dig their own country out of the rubble.  Pray for those who have lost loved ones in the tragic earthquake.
  • Stay up to date with the latest news and images (BBC News, CNN, etc.)
  • Follow the Nehemiah Vision Ministries Blog for updates.
  • Find and follow the twitter accounts of aid workers currently in Haiti (@firesideint is one that I’ve found).
  • Financially support Nehemiah Vision Ministries, which will be taking a central role in bringing aid to their country.  Alternatively, support another one of the reputable aid organizations you have heard of before (as sad as it is to say, beware of scam artists out to steal your money).

I will also be sending out a few updates as I hear them via the World Next Door newsletter.  If you would like these updates, please sign up today

Until we hear more, please continue to pray for Haiti.  I am afraid that there is more tragedy yet to unfold…

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About the Author: Barry is the founder and Executive Director of World Next Door. A storyteller, traveller and giant nerd, he lives to compel suburban Americans to get engaged with social justice and find their place in God's kingdom revolution. His ultimate dream is to adopt a pet monkey named Kevin.

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  1. Barry Rodriguez said... 


    January 13th, 2010 at 10:42 am  

    Just an FYI, BBC News is doing live minute-by-minute coverage in a special article here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8456322.stm

  2. stacia matthews said... 


    January 13th, 2010 at 10:58 am  

    Barry: Please call me at 432-9738. I need your help for a story today about getting aid to Haiti.



  3. KIm said... 


    January 13th, 2010 at 11:04 am  

    Thanks for posting this…was wondering how this would impact the ministry you were working with. Terribly devastating.

  4. Aaron Sherrick said... 


    January 13th, 2010 at 11:27 am  

    Barry, thanks for posting this and raising even more awareness of the need that is in Haiti. Blessings!

  5. Greg Guevara said... 


    January 13th, 2010 at 2:54 pm  

    Thanks for the updates. Samaritan’s Purse (www.samaritanspurse.org) is a first class disaster relief organization that is already on the ground in Haiti. They work closely with local partners. I would encourage you to contact SP and put them in touch with your contacts at Nehemiah Vision Ministries.

  6. Nick Kirongo said... 


    January 14th, 2010 at 5:31 am  

    My prayers are with the people of Haiti. God will see you through

  7. Lisa Thompson said... 


    January 18th, 2010 at 3:25 pm  

    Thank you so much from sharing from your heart yesterday in service. You and Curtis provided great background info, facts and a personal look at what’s going on in Haiti. We are keeping Haiti in our urgent prayers as well as your ministry. Keep up the wonderful work you are doing!

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