Keeping faith key to Haiti’s survival

As a race of flawed beings living in an unpredictable world, we have become used to seeing multitudinous forms of death, destruction and tragedy. The recent devastating earthquakes in Haiti were unfortunate for many and another lesson in desensitization. However, as it almost always does, the human spirit proved unable to be crushed. Perhaps this is because a faith in something other than themselves is providing the light and inspiration for thousands of human souls to once again triumph over tragedy.

The New York Times has been inundated with articles concerning Haiti and the seemingly hopeless circumstances of its people, but one article catches the eye and stands apart from the rest. Entitled “Amid Rubble, Seeking a Refuge in Faith,” the article details how amid the most disheartening and devastating moment of their lives, a group of Haitian people are turning to their faith to pull them through.

Though the Red Cross and other similar organizations have donated near $37 million dollars in disaster relief funds, nothing will sustain the loss-stricken heart and soul like one’s faith.

“Think of our new village here as the home of Jesus Christ, not the scene of a disaster,” declared the Rev. Joseph Lejeune as he gathered a handful of beleaguered and broken victims of the earthquake living in a tent city to a prayer service. How is it, though they have likely lost everything in a natural disaster, the likes of which their country has never seen, these people are surviving? They are turning to the one thing that, if believed fully and wholly and with one’s entire soul, can never be taken away; faith.

True, faith in oneself and one’s own fortitude, if strong enough, can lift one’s spirit, but a faith in a higher power and love greater than oneself seems the much more sustainable and lasting one. Throughout the world, when tragedy has stricken, one will undoubtedly find grief and pain. One will find people at their wit’s end, searching for something to believe and something to grasp onto. Faith, whether it be faith in God, in one’s ability to survive, or in the fact that everything happens for a reason, can make the difference in a situation of tragic happenstance or a natural disaster.

Looking back at history, one will find that when the light was darkest, people would either give up or give in to their faith. The people of Haiti are experiencing the effects of a disaster many of us will likely never know. One of Lejeune’s followers, Ricot Calixte, didn’t know if his unborn child was still alive in his wife’s womb, as a concrete block had hit her in the stomach.

“We don’t know if the baby is still alive,” he said, according to the Times article. “Prayer can help, I think. As I still breathe, I have faith.”

As Calixte so simply summarizes, the true beauty of faith lies in its infallibility.
Andrea Bolt is a junior news-editorial journalism major from the The Woodlands.