my life songs


tell me why?
January 28, 2011, 2:29 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The Lord is just.  Christ healed the sick, fed the hungry, and brought redemption.  As followers of Christ, we must fight for these things.  It can be heart breaking when we read about or see injustice happening to our brothers and sisters in the news.  (And the majority of the time we don’t really even see it all.  So many stories go unpublished and others just only break the surface.)  It’s another thing to witness first hand injustices happening.

I’ve lived in the DR for a while now, and in a lot of ways I’ve learned how to survive and problem solve, but other times I just simply don’t know what to do.  I throw my hands up in the air and say, Why is this country this way?  Why must the world be this way? So I decided to write a blog for the 15 of you that read it and put my faith in God and the power of prayer.

A year ago I had come back from my Christmas break in the States and an earthquake shook my house here, and tumbled to the ground several cities in Haiti.  I didn’t know what to do then either.  At first the DR was Haiti’s best friend.  When we went to Haiti I remember people there telling us that the Dominicans were the ones that showed up every day with food and water to hand out to people.  Since then cholera has broken out.  I also remember the UN officer we met telling us the CDC would be expecting illnesses after injury.  Now, I can’t really say that I’ve heard much about progress actually being made.  Here are some startling photographs of the country a year after: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/gallery/2011/jan/11/haiti-earthquake-one-year-on#/?picture=370477303&index=7

A year later, the Dominican Republic has started full force deportations of Haitians living here.  Ok, ok, I get the argument.  It’s not their country, they’re using up resources, blah, blah, blah.  I’ve thought those same things myself, Haitians receive free health care here.  But the problem arises when things are done unjustly.  Things like, “citing beatings, humiliating persecutions on public roads, separation of families, loss of property and goods,” does not sound just to me.  Here are a couple articles that talk about what’s been going on:

http://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-2207-haiti-social-reactions-of-the-mhave-facing-the-situation-of-the-haitians-in-dominican-republic.html

http://www.cadenagramonte.cu/english/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4125:haiti-demands-review-of-deportations-from-dominican-republic&catid=3:world&Itemid=14

I personally saw a truck on the highway, full of Haitians in the back, packed in like cattle.  It made me think of the images I’ve created in my mind of what it was like for the Jews.  Word is that officials are going into neighborhoods and performing searches, stopping people at random on the street, people are scared.  Might I remind you, I’m a foreigner living in this country.  I don’t have a visa.  I live here with my passport.  Even if my passport expired, would I be stopped at random on the street and harassed?  Hauled off in a truck because I didn’t have my passport on me?  The answer is NO, because I’m white.

Another problem arises in that some of these people have been living in this country for years.  I know several individuals who were born here, and for some reason or another have had problems getting their papers.  Are they to be sent to a country in which they have never lived, separated from their families?

So what does this mean?  The majority of the art co-op ladies are Haitian.  Some have expired passports, some don’t have visas, etc.  They’re scared, living in fear.  They are afraid to leave the village, to go out and buy food, or go to the doctor.  These are not criminals, they are women that work, “refugees.”  And they come to Rachel and I for help, because for some reason we have been entrusted with being in charge of a small bit of money for them, providing them work.  We give them work, and sell things that they make, and pay them their money.  It may keep them from going hungry, but they are still just one inch away from catastrophe, from going ill, or loosing their house.  I know it’s not about me, but it’s hard because I want to feel like I’ve made a difference for them.

So what do we do?  I have no idea.  So I get on here and a blab, and I get on my knees and I pray.

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