Being a cancer survivor of an incurable form of cancer affects my perspective of making a stop in Haiti by the owners of the cruise ship (Royal Caribbean). All over the world, every day, people walk out of doctor's offices after hearing the news that they or a loved one has cancer. Day in, day out all over the world, there are chemotherapy wards, administering the harshest of drugs, into bodies that will die unless taking the harsh drugs. One of the very first lessons a cancer survivor learns is that the earth keeps spinning and life goes on. The world didn't stop when I learned I had an incurable cancer in stage four, and the world didn't stop when the horrible earthquake brought its destruction to Haiti. I personally interviewed four Haitians on Labadie, Haiti about our presence. It was unanimous that the Haitians were very glad we were there. The other Haitians, I didn't interview, but were strongly encouraging me to come into their shops and buy some of their stuff, were also very, very glad we were there.
The owner's of the cruise line, donated $1,000,000.00 to the Haitian relief effort, left multiple pallets of basic supplies, and all the money spent in Haiti was given to the relief efforts. Any number of the cruiser's would have gladly gone and helped in the relief efforts, but we would have only gotten in the way.
It seems uncaring and disrespectful, that life goes on, when a portion of a population is suffering horribly. How long should a person, their families, a community mourn when an indescribable loss occurs? As a cancer survivor I had to, and I am sure the earthquake survivors will one day, start moving forward with their lives. Day in, day out, good people suffer, and yet, life goes on. In oncologist offices every day, people hear news they never want to hear. Every day, in Chemotherapy wards, people receive strong, harsh doses of medicine that renders them hairless, energy less, tasteless, and a blur mentally, yet, life goes on.
My wife and I spent some good money, to go wave running in Labadie, Haiti. We laughed till we cried, at the incredible fun we were having. Our fun increased exponentially, when I turned over the driving to my wife, who is well known, as someone who drives much faster than I do. My frugal self, probably wouldn't have spent the money, unless knowing it was going to the relief efforts, and I am glad I did. Laughing, for an extended period of time, with your love one, simultaneously when many people are suffering horribly, is a mystery that life keeps moving on with or without us.
The group we were with, (Priority One Missions), partnered together, and made Faith Promises of over a $1,100,000.00 to build bible schools, train leaders and equip for ministry, the multiplied thousands of people, God is calling into ministry. There are always, incredibly positive things, happening simultaneously with incredible horrible things.
It is not fully understandable, or comprehensible, but it can be accepted, that life goes on, no matter the circumstances a person faces.
Lord, help us follow you, through the valleys of the shadows of death, as well as the moments of extreme pleasure and joy. We lift up, the relief efforts in Haiti, and ask for your joy in the midst of mourning to come to all who are suffering.