CHILD SLAVES, HEALING HAITI AND ELECTION DAY

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I am writing this on the U.S. Election Day before anyone knows for sure what will happen.  And, I’m writing about things that will seem off the radar for most people here in the U.S., things that many will not care about at all in light of the huge issues and the enormous stakes in a national election.  I mean who cares about Haiti today?  And, if you do care about Haiti, why focus on a few thousand children whose misfortune means slavery for them because it means riches for a few and at least a modest piece of the action for many?  Meanwhile, Heaven looks on, broken-hearted and weeping.

Last week the Miami Herald ran a story about the trafficking of children across Haiti’s borders.  Specifically, it chronicled the sharp rise in this trafficking immediately after the terrible earth quake of January 12, 2010, a rise that has been sustained.  The writers offer documentation of wide-spread, systemic support of this crime against Creator/humanity. 

That is, from border patrol to local guides to people who watch it to officials in the Haitian government to  …  the list goes on—children are kidnapped, sold, pressed into who knows what kind of service and nobody does anything.  Nobody does anything!  (Find the article at: http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2010/10/26/1688381/child-smuggling-runs-rampant-along.html)

I read that and said, “No way!”  But, here’s the truth, “Yes, way!”  It happens there in Haiti and many other places as well.

Then I said, “Not on our watch.  I’m not sure what we can do, but I am certain we will not be among those who do nothing.  No way!”

So, here’s the deal.  Especially now in view of the cholera outbreak and the threat of storms and hurricanes, I want Haiti to heal, but healing that makes peace with such crimes against Creator/humanity would be a new, worse malady merely disguised as healing.  And, we should not support healing that is not true, deep healing.  With billions of dollars flowing into Haiti to help Haiti heal, why can’t and why shouldn’t the people in charge attach some unbreakable strings to those relief dollars that insist adamantly that this blatant human rights atrocity must be addressed as a condition for the help Haiti needs to heal truly and wholly?  There are people who could make that happen.  I don’t know who they are, but we could start with government officials—some still partying over their victories on Election Day and some smarting over set-backs or defeats—but all could be called, written, lobbied to leverage their influence on behalf of children now enslaved and the thousands soon to be snatched and sold.  Here are the links to contact our governing officials: http://www.contactingthecongress.org/

It would be the same for those leading humanitarian Relief Agencies.  I don’t know who the key people are, but some of you likely do.  Provide the information and we can act on it.

We could also connect with Not For Sale at http://www.notforsalecampaign.org/  to become more aware and to support their efforts to eliminate slavery in our generation.  Then, too, we could make sure that our churches and faith communities join a growing movement to observe freedom Sunday this coming March.  There are other things we can do as well I am sure.  But these are sufficient to get us started.

Today, Election Day, few are thinking about such things.  Fewer perhaps are inclined to do anything.  But, as I say, Heaven looks on, broken-hearted and weeping.  And Christ-followers are in the habit of being among the few and acting in concert with what “Heaven” does.

 

 

 

 

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    Whoa. Thanks for this great, informative, horrifying post, Bishop Kendall. I have written to my congressman and senator.

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