Two months ago, I wrote on this blog about refocusing and an upcoming trip that I was preparing for. The country I was headed to was known as one of the least developed countries in the world, ranking 146 out of the 177 countries in the United Nations Human Development Index (2006) and about 80% of the population were estimated to be living in poverty (source).
On January 12th, everything changed. I knew that being a part of a service trip to Haiti was going to be difficult. Now, it seems almost impossible.
I have received a few e-mails and tweets wondering if I am still planning on going. Honestly, I’m not sure.
As a team, the group I am traveling with is still proceeding with our plans. The site we are planning to go to sustained only mild damage.
Our fundraising efforts for our travel costs have changed into fundraising to send to the orphanage where we will hopefully be working. One of the primary ways in which we are raising money is by offering t-shirts in exchange for a donation. Honestly, I don’t care if you donate to the organization I am working with, through the Red Cross, through the International Diabetes Foundation, or the Yele Haiti foundation (among many, many other organizations). The country needs so much help that I don’t think a single dollar can be wasted at this point. If you would like to learn more about the t-shirts you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you more information.
As I mentioned, as of today, my group still planning to head to Haiti in a little over 40 days. We have heard word that the State Department might issue a warning restricting travel to the country which would effectively not allow us to go.
As you have also likely heard all over the news, food and water and other basic necessities are even more limited in the country now than they were 8 days ago when 80% of the country already lived below the poverty line. I am extremely cautious to go to a place as take food out of the mouths of people who are already starving.
Another large hesitation that is running through my head regarding this trip over the last week honestly feels very selfish. Before the earthquake, I thought I would just buy a Frio wallet to put my insulin in and be just fine. I am only going to be gone for 10 days so I was not too worried. Now I am wondering if I am taking risks with my health that I should not taking at this point.
I don’t know exactly how it will happen and if it will look like I planned two months ago, but my heart still hurts for Haiti and I still desperately want to help and desperately want to be there.
Update: Please read my comment under this post. I take all of your opinions and advice very seriously. I have found out that a lot of people going on the other trips that are planned (not just to Haiti) are also feeling uneasy. I am always cautious about over spiritualizing things but I wonder if it is Satan trying to get a foothold in the amazing work that is going to be done around the world.