As Independence Day approaches, we begin to see increasingly more American flags waving, fireworks bursting and hotdogs grilling. The 4th of July has always been one of my favorite holidays, even before I completely understood the meaning of it all. The fun pool day festivities, delicious food and the excitement of staying up late for fireworks are activities nearly every family across the nation partakes in, but this holiday obviously has a much deeper meaning.
The concepts and history behind Independence Day seems pretty self explanatory. As the anniversary of our country’s declaration of independence from Great Britain, we celebrate our freedoms, show patriotism and take time to acknowledge what a privilege it is to live in a democratic nation. But this year, I hope to encourage you all to truly recognize how blessed we are to live in a country were our votes make a difference and our voices can be heard.
Haiti’s political climate is one of chronic instabilities and corrupt leadership. As a country constantly facing poverty and natural disaster, people are in desperate need of a government willing and able to assist them. The people of Haiti face hardships such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and extreme poverty on levels that few Americans can truly comprehend, and all too commonly they don’t get any attention or the help they need. Mothers frustrated with the inability to feed their children and fathers unable to provide their families with sufficient housing or education have no real avenue to get the attention of their political leaders and habitually the people in power don’t really care. In no way am I saying that the United States’ political system is perfect and I am very aware that U.S. citizens also face these issues, but in Haiti hoping for a change in sometimes all they have.
As a result of being in need and not being heard, it is very common for Haitian people to take to the streets and protest when they desire a change. Recurrently these protests lead to rioting and rioting leads to violence, only adding to the chaos and danger this country faces. Often times these demonstrations interfere with education, the food markets and even mission work. In these times of upheaval and confusion, we know that God is with our brothers in sisters in Haiti and that where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. With your help and encouragement we can share the love of God in these dark places.
I know, as written in Psalm 118:5, that “Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free” and we at Breath of Life Haiti hope that our mission can teach those in Haiti that Jesus can set them free from all the troubles they may face if they turn to Him.
So as you celebrate the freedoms and great privileges the United States has to offer this week, I ask that when you keep Haiti in your thoughts and prayers. I ask that you pray for the lack of government stability that has been the root of much of the nations turmoil. Pray for the leaders who make decisions. Pray for those who elect the leaders. Pray for the relationships between Haiti and other countries, and most of all pray for peace and guidance from the Holy Spirit through it all.
To learn more about Haiti’s political climate feel free to refer the some of the sites listed below.