Monday, September 27, 2010

Yet they are not made ill by the collapse of Joseph! (Amos 6)

Haiti: image source
NCR Online posts an excellent report from Haiti by documentary filmmaker Gerard Thomas Straub.  Our post-earth quake focus on Haiti has blurred as the months have passed but the reality faced by this poorest nation in the hemisphere grinds on with intense pain. 
I am a documentary filmmaker and I’ve filmed in slums like this all over the world -- this was my fourth trip to Haiti in the last eight months -- but to live in one is another story, a horror story laced with rodents, roaches, ants and mosquitoes. Life without running water and electricity is exhausting. The stench of human waste and rotting garbage is inescapable. Violence and corruption are commonplace. The slum where I stayed for two full weeks is in an area known as Girardo-ville. Access to the heart of the slum is limited to one unpaved road that is almost impassable. The difficult physical journey out of the slum is symbolic of the even more difficult journey out of hopelessness in a city where death and disease linger everywhere in the toxic air.
...
In the end, it seems, poverty is more than a lack of food and work. Poverty is a force that destroys the unity of the human family by dividing us into camps of those who have and those who don’t have. And between the rich and the poor, there is an impenetrable wall that separates us. That scandalous wall must come down.
That second paragraph brings me back to yesterday's gospel story of the rich man and Lazarus.  I'll bet that Amos, the prophet of yesterday's first scripture, would have had something to say about this...

Should this post move you to reach out to those in need in Haiti, I confidently recommend the Saint Boniface Haiti Foundation as an organization through which your generosity will be put to good use for the health and welfare of those who are suffering.


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