Are you ready to run the marathon for Haiti?

Since the earthquake on January 12th, 2010, Haiti has had a ton of aid brought in from many different countries, a ton of news reporters from all over the world, and a ton of mission teams and other humanitarian aid groups. Even though the population decreased because of the many deaths, it seems like the population has increased from all of these other people coming into this country.

I am thankful that these groups have come. Haiti needs aid BIG TIME. Haiti needs the press to relay the stories back to the people around the world so that they are made aware of the situation…the real situation. Haiti needs short-term mission groups and other humanitarian groups to come here and help give out aid, care for the wounded, and bring encouragement to the people who have been devastated.

But what Haiti needs most are those that are ready to run the marathon, not just run the 100 yard sprint. And here is what I have already personally seen.

There are very few, if any, news reporters flying into Jacmel or other places to get the story of what is going on now…the real story, not just the spectacle of buildings crashed, the dead piled up, and the chaotic cries of the people. What about the need now to tell the personal stories of people who have lost loved ones and homes, but are now just trying to rebuild and need some help? Those stories certainly don’t get great press attention, but they definitely get my attention. And those are the people we want to come along side of and help get resources their way.

Our blog hits spiked to the thousands during the week of the quake. Everybody wanted to follow the spectacular. But now that the spectacular is over, our blog hits are coming back to the normal, well still slightly above (perhaps we have found some marathon runners among us).

Haiti has certainly dropped out of the prime spot in the news. I know this is completely normal. It just shows though that the press just try to get the story that brings the most spectacle, and Haiti now is, in a sense, old news. That is just so sad though because this earthquake only happened a few weeks ago. It’s not like we can look at the situation and say, “Oh, Haiti is doing well now, so we can move on to other things.” No, Haiti is not doing well. Yes, Haitians are trying to move on. They are trying to put the broken pieces back together. They are a strong people, the most resilient people I have ever known. But they still need our help, now more than ever.

Don’t get me wrong. I am so thankful to have seen so many people, churches, groups, etc. come to Haiti within weeks of her biggest tragedy ever. I know that this made a huge difference to so many Haitian people. It showed them that people care and want to help.

But to truly help Haiti, it will require many people, churches, countries, and groups to go the distance. We need people who are willing to step up with commitments that will be measured in years rather than days. We need churches to adopt Haiti as a mission focus for an extended period of time rather than just one mission trip that often just gives a glimpse of the spectacle, but doesn’t allow the time to really get to know Haiti and her people. We need those that are willing to run the marathon. I’m not a runner, but I do know that the sprint itself is a spectacle from start to finish. It happens so fast that the whole race is full of excitement. A sprint also just requires full exertion from start to finish. A sprinter puts all of his or her energy into a race that only lasts seconds. Once those seconds are over, the sprinter goes home. But a marathon requires setting a pace that enables the person to run for a long period of time. A marathon runner cannot put all of their energy into the first seconds of the race otherwise he or she would burn out and never be able to finish. A marathon runner has to be patient and know when to make a move to get to the front of the pack as well as know when to just keep a steady pace with the rest of the pack. Also, a marathon, I would imagine, has many moments without spectacle. It has many moments where the runner feels alone. It has periods of strenuous uphill climbs. It has periods of fatigue and exhaustion. It may have moments even of boredom. And it certainly has moments of great challenge, and the only thing that propels that runner forward is the commitment to cross the finish line.

I certainly admire marathoners, but truthfully I would rather watch a sprint than a marathon. And I would imagine that I am not the only one.

Haiti has had many sprinters in these last few weeks. There has been much excitement, much spectacle, and also many incredible stories of lives being impacted. I am thankful for every person that has come down here to help.

But now that Haiti is not in the spectacle spotlight so much, yet she lies in ruins in so many places, we need those that are ready to run the marathon with us. It will be challenging. It will be painful. It will be frustrating. It will require so much patience. It will require wisdom of knowing when to make a big move to get ahead and when to just keep a slow and steady pace. It might even be boring at times. But it will be a most rewarding moment when we can all cross the finish line together and say, “By the grace of God, we did it!”.

Who’s ready to run this marathon with us? – Cody

8 thoughts on “Are you ready to run the marathon for Haiti?

  1. Hey, I’m with you. I served 3 mo. with David and Judy heady at Ti Tanyen several years ago. I also served with Ed Lockett MVI missionary for a mo. in Petit Goave a couple of years ago. I was to go full time in Haiti but my mother took ill and I had to take care of her. She passed on May.
    I have followed you each day on Global Outreach site. This is the deal…I have 5 weeks to spend in Haiti. I have tents and baby formular and will probably have some money. I have considered contacting you to see if I could come to you. I can sleep in a tent and bring my own food if need to. Trying to make contact with David Heady to see if I can come there. But just as soon bring help to you. I am equipped for survival situations and perform well in emergency situations. I am with the MS Baptist Disaster Relief and have served with them in places such as 911. I have done carpentry work and help lay brick in Honduras many times. I can do just about anything i set my mind to. My passion is feeding people. I speak almost 0 Creole but I do speak America Sign Language. I worked at the deaft school in PAP for a mo. Global Outreach probably still has records on me if you need verification. I live in Mississippi. Phone number 662-310-0730 e-mail anlandfiles@yahoo.com. just signed up on twitter as atimetobelieve (and boy is it). I also have facebook page.

  2. Hi Cody and Maria, you don’t know me, but I have been following your blog, since we got word from Global Outreach. I work in the office of our non-denominational church and was able to recommend your site in our bulletin for our church body to keep up with what is happening in Haiti. Today’s blog really touched me. Having been through Hurricane Katrina here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast (which does not even compare to Haiti) I know well the appearance of the 100 yard dash folks and the marathon runners. Not denoting one above the other, but truly thankful for ALL that came to our rescue. While New Orleans garnered the headlines, people in places like Long Beach and Pass Christian rolled up there sleeves, dug in beside the relief teams in helping themselves and others. WE are still resurrecting our cities 5 years later. The Amish from Pennsylvania came in the first week and are still coming, to work in our communities and help restore broken lives and shattered dreams. Even now, I know of a group in PA that are preparing to build ‘shed homes’ for the Haitians, ship them there and send teams to put them together. They are marathon runners. So from a heart of compassion for Haiti’s people and understanding the place you now find yourself in, I pray that the Lord will surround you with ‘marathon runners’ who will lift up your arms and your spirit when you grow weary and bless and praise God with you in all that you see Him do no matter how small or how big. Continuing in prayer for you.

  3. Amen! I hope to be down there again in the coming months, God willing! Miss you guys! Praying for your family!

    Love ya,
    Lance

  4. By the way…I’m going to be studying some more Creole – thanks Maria for the lessons that got me started!

  5. Hey Cody,

    This is an interesting entry. It reminds me of a discussion I read once that posed the question of who benefitted more from international volunteer opportunities, the communities being served in the short time span that volunteers were in country…or the volunteers who were able to be exposed to the lives and culture of other people before returning to their comfortable homes. As far as things go with Haiti, you are absolutely right. There will need to be a long term approach to rebuilding the country. I appreciate your committment to Haiti in the wake of this crisis.

  6. Know you are prayed for, the Haitian people are prayed for and I trust God to faithfully bring needs to mind so I can pray for you accordingly. A marathon can be run on your knees as well and I gladly and compassionately commit to do that. May our Lord Jesus meet your every need and encourage you this day.

  7. I really appreciated your analogy of the sprint and the marathon in the context of Haiti. You guys have the cadence of marathoners…pace yourselves well!

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