One thing that has fascinated my mind in the past few years is Jesus' teaching on the "kingdom of God." He spoke of His ministry as being the initiation of the rule and reign of God on this earth. Clearly, God is very much at work on this planet. In fact, many statistics tell us that He may be at work in this world in a way that is unlike any other time in history. However, clearly, God's rule and reign isn't exhaustive. There is clearly another kingdom at work. God's kingdom is here, but it's not entirely. Sin still grips and destroys. We live in this constant tension. Rick McKinley, an author I like, calls it "This Beautiful Mess." This tension is so obvious and tangible in Haiti.
In the next several posts, I hope to explain this dynamic a little more and how I see it in Haiti. I'll be posting an evidence of despair, sin and suffering, then I'll follow with an explanation of how God's kingdom reign is breaking in and how His people are at work.
Clean water is hard to come-by in Haiti. I've literally seen little children drinking from gutters that run with raw sewage. Women draw water and then use it (without filtration) from streams where cows, goats and pigs drink and drop their waste. In our nutrition project, we find that access to drinkable water is one of our biggest obstacles in treating kids. This problem isn't just in Haiti. Some thoughts/stats...
-More than 2.6 billion people – forty per cent of the world’s population – lack basic sanitation facilities, and over one billion people still use unsafe drinking water sources. Inadequate access to safe water and sanitation services, coupled with poor hygiene practices, kills and sickens thousands of children every day.
-Many mothers with AIDS are encouraged to breast-feed their babies because the lack of clean, safe water poses more of a health risk than the dreaded virus.
- For 73% of the Haitian population, the daily search for water is a nightmare. Buying water, is very expensive, preventing access for those who need it most
- Only 50% of Haitians currently get water from "improved sources"
Just know that this is a major problem, killing hundreds/thousands of children (and others). The ripple effects are terrible. This struggle of survival leads to other struggles, including disease, malnutrition, theft, deception, prostitution and corruption. But, hope is coming...