Answer to Prayer
The spiritual response to the tragedy of the 2010 earthquake was an almost universal outpouring of prayer, repentance and calling upon God for mercy and deliverance. Out of the disaster, God appears to be doing something radical and new among the people of Haiti. Reports abound that the three days of prayer and fasting called for by the president – replacing February 2010's Mardi Gras – were attended by over one million people.
Challenge for Prayer
The earthquake of 2010 was a disaster on many levels. But it also offers hope out of tragedy. It is believed that 230,000 lost their lives, 300,000 were injured and over one million were rendered homeless. Hundreds of thousands of homes and buildings were also destroyed, including some major government buildings. Aid arrived from around the world, but coordination was difficult in the aftermath of the earthquake, and assistance will be needed for a long time to come. For a host of reasons, Haiti struggled as a nation from its very inception. This shattering disaster could be an opportunity to reshape not just the physical infrastructure of the nation, but the cultural, economic, political and societal infrastructures as well. Some points to cover in prayer include:
a) The rebuilding efforts will take years. Haiti’s infrastructure was never good, and Port-au-Prince’s was especially weak due to rapid urbanization from poorer rural areas. Countless homes will need to be rebuilt or restored; the sheer scale of money and manpower needed is staggering for the Western Hemisphere’s poorest nation. Pray for the best long-term development for the city and nation, rather than quick fixes. Pray for generous assistance from wealthier neighbours and nations and agencies from further abroad.
b) The human suffering was immense in the immediate aftermath and will continue for years. The shared emotional trauma of the events, the massive loss of life and the long-term injuries will all leave major scars on the Haitian population. Healing from such hurts needs time, care and the love of God.
c) Haiti was a financial and social mess even before the earthquake. Repairing all the damage, however, will not create a healthy economy. Haiti must rebuild beyond its previous state and develop long-term plans and policies that are shaped with wisdom and justice.
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