In the midst of his suffering, Job cried out to the Lord in despair and even anger, emotions most people can easily relate to. What Catholic hasn’t felt that God has tested him or her with what we think are unreasonable hardships? Job, too, believed the tragedies that happened to him—the death of his children, the slaughter of his servants, the destruction of his home and livestock—were things he didn’t deserve.
But despite his confusion and pain, Job clung to his faith: “He said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there; the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.’” (Job 1:21).
Like Job, the people of Haiti have seen crushing obstacles this year—and another might be on the way.
First, a devastating earthquake struck the already-impoverished country in January. More than 1 million people became homeless and are now living in makeshift tent camps in squalid conditions, and hundreds of thousands of people perished in the tragedy.
Joseph Dasseus, right, and his son, Joseph Jean Bernard, have relied on faith to get them through the many challenges Haiti has faced in 2010.
Haitians who were already poor, and even those who were doing relatively well, have been flung even deeper into poverty in the months since the earthquake. Cross International Catholic Outreach has continued to work diligently to provide relief, spearhead rebuilding efforts, and help the Haitian people through the recovery process.
Then in late October, a cholera outbreak struck and continues to ravage several rural communities, killing 337 people and infecting 4,764 people according to the most recent reports.
The deadly disease could possibly spread to the camps in and around Port-au-Prince where it could potentially kill thousands of people. Cross Catholic is working on the ground right now to help combat the disease and provide medical care to those sickened by it.
On top of these struggles, the National Hurricane Center is projecting Hurricane Tomas to possibly cross over Haiti late this week. It’s unlikely the feeble tents many Haitians are living in can withstand even a weak hurricane. We’re praying that this storm will stay away from Haiti, a country that has seen so much heartbreak this year, and preparing our relief strategy should the storm hit there.
Through it all, the Haitian people have clung to their faith in the Lord. Like Job, they’ve been tested almost to the breaking point, but they know that through Christ there is hope. Joseph Dasseus, whose house was destroyed in the earthquake outside Port-au-Prince, told us recently: “You can’t even be discouraged when God is in your life. What happened did so for a reason that only God knows. And only God knows what will happen tomorrow. So you cannot be discouraged because God is in control.”
Please continue pray for the people of Haiti, especially as we watch the track of Hurricane Tomas this week. Stay tuned to the Cross Catholic Blog for updates. For information about how you can help us bring relief and recovery to Haiti, please click here.