Emanuel and My Time in Haiti

Somewhere there is a picture of me at 19, holding a beautiful little boy named Emanuel. He was 18 months old and was growing up in an orphanage in Port au Prince, having been found in a pile of garbage when he was a few hours old.

From the time I met Emanuel, he grabbed a piece of my heart and has held it ever since. I’ve never gotten to see him again or heard what happened to him. Did he grow up in the orphanage? Was he adopted? I don’t know and I’ve often found my thoughts wandering and wondering.

It’s hard to believe he’d be 27 years old now. I wonder if he is still in Port au Prince. Is his face now covered with the dust of fallen buildings? Is he carrying the dead into the streets? Does he have a child of his own that he is trying to protect from both physical harm and the pain of seeing such horror?

The name “Emanuel” means “God is with us.” Please, let God be with the people of Haiti. Let God be with all of us so that we respond with generosity and compassion. And let God be with Pat Robertson and those like him, helping them learn that God is in the streets of Haiti today, not pronouncing judgment from the safety of a mansion somewhere.

In this time of sorrow, devastation, and pain I have to cling even more tightly my conviction that God is Love. Let us all give, work, pray, and do whatever we can to help there be more love in the world. Let that God be with us…

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2 thoughts on “Emanuel and My Time in Haiti

  1. I think Pat Robertson would like to believe that if he does all the right things, he will not suffer the fate of so many Hatians. We (human beings) like to be able to explain accidents and disasters. We want to be able to control the world so that these things won’t happen to us. When I had dislocated my ankle and had a compound fracture, I got it from falling off my porch onto the cement driveway. One small misstep and I found myself in an ambulance. When I told the inquiring ER nurse what had happened, she told me I would have to come up with a better story. Surely there must have been something more unusual going on to cause such an injury. And I did come up with a humorous story to tell people when they asked. But the truth is much more simple. The truth is accidents and disasters happen close to home. And fear arises when we realize there is only so much we can do to prevent them. I would guess that Pat lives in a place of fear. That is not a very fun place to live. It leads to so much hatred. I creates its own prison that separates us from the truth. It slowly cuts away at interstitial integrity and leads us to a place of us vs. them. All I can think to say is “ouch!” I wonder what it would take for these wounds to heal?

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