I have been glued to CNN and wherever else I can get word on what is going on in Haiti. I know the anguish of not knowing—I have friends with family there. Most of the news has not been good, and we all continue to pray; there is hope in the stories of people still being pulled out of the rubble alive, babies being born, and troops and supplies finally showing up.
As I write this it’s six days after the earthquake and the media are right now doing a strange thing that takes me back to Katrina. There has been little talk about the 75 people who beat the odds and were pulled from the rubble, including an 18-month-old girl. Instead, most of the reporting has been about looting and crime.
Another report is on children being sent to the U.S. to give them “loving” homes in Pennsylvania. Do the Haitians not love their children now that there’s been an earthquake?
And imagine for a moment that you or your children have been without water or food for several days, and it is dropped from the sky. Would you not run toward it?
Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their homes, have nothing to eat or drink and are living in makeshift shelters waiting for help that they are not sure will come, and the media want to show a hundred people “looting” a warehouse.
How did we get on this page? And why not a word about the tremendous response of the faith community?
I was privileged to take calls on Saturday from Lutherans calling the ELCA toll-free number to make an offering, and to talk with them about what else we can do. I encouraged those who make quilts and assemble health kits to get busy—Lutheran World Relief was in need of them before the earthquake and is certainly in dire need of them now. And for those who didn’t quilt, I encouraged them to support those who do.
These quilts and health kits are our niche as women of faith and signs of hope long after the media are gone. Let’s get busy!
Valora Starr is director for discipleship, Women of the ELCA.