Friday, June 23, 2017
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Today, which we call Holy Saturday, the day after Good Friday is always a bit awkward and makes one feel somewhat disoriented. We just went through the Passion of Our Lord the day before. He is now in the tomb. What do we do now? I can appreciate the sense of confusion, sadness, disorientation, and despair the disciples must have felt on that day, for Easter had not yet come.
Haiti too is in a long Holy Saturday. Haitians just went through the greatest suffering in a long time (they are reminded of it every time there is an aftershock or every time they see rubbles all over the city or when they suddenly remember they had one more daughter or one more uncle or a father…). There are talks of reconstruction, talks of a new Haiti on the horizon, but for many it is but talk. There is no evidence. Tomorrow may bring great things, but today is hard, disorienting.
Tomorrow will come indeed, but not in the form that some may think. I am optimistic about Haiti. I believe she will indeed rise again. Yes, someday there will be plenty of electricity, good roads, clean water, competent hospitals, food, etc. We must all work hard so that Haiti will see its Easter Sunday in glory. But you know, the ultimate Rise cannot be merely material, political, nutritional or anything else earthly—not that the earthly is not good (It is), but because the earthly will never suffice. We will hunger for more peace, more justice, more goodness, more truth, more beauty, more, more, more. This thirst for more can only be satisfied by the infinite, the one who IS Peace, Justice, Goodness, Truth, Beauty and LIFE. Yes Christ alone can give any nation what it truly seeks. If our desires settle for anything less, well…we’ll know.
So, let us work to bring the poor of Haiti to a better place indeed in this world and pray that we all reach the home that has been prepared for us by our Lord where we shall live with our heavenly Father in the Spirit.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Muslim gangs attacked three villages in central Nigeria and killed up to 400 Christians in pre-dawn attacks on March 7. “The shooting was just meant to bring people from their houses, and then when people came out they started cutting them with machetes,” said one witness. Another added, “We saw mainly those who are helpless, like small children and then the older men, who cannot run, these were the ones that were slaughtered.”
Monday, February 22, 2010
Thursday February 18, 2010
Exclusive: Shipments of Medical Aid to Haiti Delayed by Massive Condom Overload
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By John-Henry Westen and Kathleen Gilbert
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, February 12, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The flow of medical supplies waiting to be distributed to tens of thousands of earthquake victims in Haiti was delayed for weeks by a massive supply of condoms dominating the space of the main storage facility there, an eyewitness with insider information has told LifeSiteNews.com (LSN).
The central pharmaceutical supply center, known as PROMESS (Program on Essential Medicine and Supplies), is home to the operations of the World Health Organization (WHO)/Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in the area. "Without PROMESS we would have had a second catastrophe," Dr. Alex Larsen, Haitian Minister of Health, said at the PROMESS warehouse recently.
However, the glut of condoms at that same warehouse delayed the massive influx of aid pouring in from around the world, according to an inside source, and may have cost lives. The source reported that shipping containers of medical supplies were unable to be unloaded, sorted and distributed since an enormous supply of condoms clogged the facility till early February, when the condoms could be removed. The condoms were estimated to take up about 70% of the space in the 17,000 sq. ft. warehouse.
The supplies pouring into the region are enormous. Reliefweb reports that “from 16-21 January alone, 483,091 kg of pharmaceutical supplies and 4,990 kg of non-pharmaceutical health supplies, like rubber gloves and masks, arrived at Port-au-Prince airport.”
Nicholas Reader of the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said he was "not aware" of the problem, and directed LSN to the World Health Organization for more information. Paul Garwood, the communications officer for emergencies and humanitarian affairs at the World Health Organization, also said he was unaware of the issue. Garwood forwarded the request to colleagues in Haiti, who have not responded as of press time.
While WHO officials are not speaking specifically about the condom clog, they have in more general terms admitted logistical hardships in dealing with the influx of supplies.
"Trying to both respond to the massive health needs in Haiti following the quake and organize the large volume of supplies entering the country has been a great challenge," according to WHO/PAHO representative in Haiti, Dr Henriette Chamouillet.
The scenario of medical supply buildings in the developing world taken up mostly by condoms and severely lacking in health care supplies is not new.
When Canadian General Romeo Dallaire returned from Rwanda in the aftermath of the Rwandan Massacre he noted in a 1996 speech that military personnel referred to UN and other foreign aid as "covering the country with rubber."
Dallaire explained that tons of condoms and other contraceptives were being shipped to and distributed around the region in quantities far beyond what the population could use and in place of much more needed food, medicine and other critically needed aid. Medicine stores, he said, were filled with contraceptives and extremely short of any supplies to treat wounded Rwandans.
With business-savy ingenuity some in the developing world have turned the condom dumping by the West to their advantage. The BBC reported in 2004 that in one Indian city alone 600,000 condoms a day were used in the sari-weaving industry. Sari weavers use the lubrication in the condoms to soften the loom's shuttle making weaving faster, without risking stains to the silk.
The United Nations strategy of massive promotion of condoms as the primary solution to the AIDS crisis is reflected even in recent reports, with no sign of letting up.
For cultures which value life, and family, the condom push into their cultures is highly offensive. Carol Ugochukwu, President of United Families of Africa in Enugu, Nigeria, commented in a 2000 interview noting that Western delegations at the United Nations were trying to "exterminate the whole race" with their promotion of condoms.
Ugochukwu expressed exasperation that Canada, the US and Europe wasted most of the time at UN conferences trying to gain approval for homosexuality while the needs of African women such as food, shelter, and clean drinking water were largely ignored. "[B]ig organizations," she said, "spend so much money, but when they find out you are dealing with all that [dying children and mothers] they are not interested. You have to say you are dealing with reproductive rights before you are given support."
Ugochukwu concluded, "[Westerners] now come in with condoms - condoms are everywhere! They spend so much money on condoms and they make our children promiscuous. They say it will stop AIDS - but it is getting worse! It makes no sense to me."
Friday, February 19, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Join Sean Forrest and his band with special guests for an unforgettable night of music and faith to support our efforts in Haiti.
When: Saturday, February 20, 2010 @ 7pm
Where: Rockville High School Auditorium
70 Loveland Hill Road, Vernon, CT 06066
Tickets are just $18 and all proceeds go to support the MWTS Mission Haiti Program.
Click here for more info and to buy your ticket online.
I will also lead worship in Creole while playing the conga.
Monday, February 15, 2010
By Elizabeth Cohen, CNN Senior Medical Correspondent
January 22, 2010 -- Updated 2100 GMT (0500 HKT)