Haiti's getting closer

Haiti's getting closer

compassion.gifIt’s now less than a month until I join representatives from other Australian radio stations to observe the work of Compassion Australia in Haiti. I’ll be leaving Perth on Saturday the 5th of April.

I had a jab to protect me against Typhoid last week. The immunisations I had for India in 2003 and 2005 cover pretty much everything else though I’ll need to start taking anti-malarial tablets in the next couple of weeks.

Haiti is a small Caribbean nation of almost 9 million people where an estimated 80% of the population is living below the poverty line with 54% in abject poverty. Around 6% of adults in Haiti are living with AIDS.

Compassion is an international Christian child development ministry, committed to child advocacy and working in partnership with local churches around the world. Compassion fosters the spiritual, economic, social, physical and emotional development of children living in extreme poverty in over 25 developing countries.

Our tour group will be able to see first hand the great need that Compassion Australia is working to fill.

98.5 Sonshine FM’s annual Compassion Day is on Thursday the 15th of May. I’ll get the opportunity to share details of the journey throughout the day and encourage listeners to get involved with Compassion Australia through child sponsorship.

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It will be quite the experience for you to visit Haiti. I was there for a week during college. On Apr. 4, my son and I will be traveling to Paraguay on a mission trip. I expect that there will be much poverty there as well, although not as severe as in Haiti. We need to get shots for Yellow Fever later this week.

What you need to know probably depends on where you will be. My experience (many years ago now) is that Port au Prince is very intense. Expect heavy crowds, crazy driving, and lots of poverty. I found the initial experience at Port-au-Prince’s airport to be stressful and overwhelming.

Out in smaller communities is where I spent more time. Expect to have much less personal space – Haitians stand much closer to you when they talk. Expect to see joy in the midst of poverty and suffering. Expect to see love and faith like you have never experienced. I think that you will be amazed, and that your faith will be stretched.

I can’t wait to see what you post after you get back.

Of course, I also can’t wait to see what I post after I get back from Paraguay.

Oh yeah, make sure to set your fears aside and watch what God does: in you, through you and with you.

You are so lucky to be going to Haiti. The child I sponsor, Olphine is there and I wish I was going with you! I seriouly would love to be going!

How come the Compassion Australia group is going, but the US Compassion says that they are not going there?

Marlene, I certainly count it a priviege to be travelling to Haiti. I’m not entirely sure what to expect but I’m looking forward to being able to share the details online and through my radio programme. 🙂

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