A Prayer for Haiti

Haitians strive to regain balance 10 years after massive earthquake

By Cindy Corell | Mission Coworker

One of hundreds of tent cities that was created to house people after the earthquake. This was in the Delmas 75 region, and it was taken down in 2014. As of today, there still are 65,000 people living in tent cities in Haiti. Photo by Cindy Corell, taken in July 2013.

Loving God, we pray in this moment for all who suffered through the earthquake that struck Haiti at 4:53 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010. Those seconds that counted less than a minute destroyed lives. More than 200,000 people died as a result, hundreds of thousands others injured and millions of Haitians were left without a home.

In the next hours, Haitians dug into still trembling rubble, willing themselves to find those whose frail voices they heard.

They prayed.

Veronica Jean, front, was born about 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010, three hours after the massive earthquake struck Haiti. Her mother, Cassandra and her family moved into a home in one of the eco-villages at MPP. Photo by Cindy Corell, taken in January 2014.

In the next days, stunned relatives desperately searched for family, praying they would find parents, children, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts and grandparents. They pressed buttons on cell phones that didn’t work.

They prayed.

In the next weeks, those without homes sought out refuge in the countryside, hauling young children and what little they owned onto buses and vans and private vehicles, hoping against hope they would find food, water and shelter.

They prayed.

In the next months, survivors lined up to receive rice or beans, clean water or a spot in a newly sprouted tent city. They faced the violence that fear and catastrophe bring. Women and girls faced sexual assault. There were little recourse but to continue struggling to live.

They prayed.

In the next years, the people of Haiti saw thousands of aid groups settle in for long-term, and many fought to be on the list for home, for a job, for any semblance of an improved life.

They prayed.

Three years after the earthquake, a row of benches in a school building near Cherident, Haiti, remain in rubble. The cement rafters fell, slicing the benches. School was not in session when the earthquake struck.
Photo by Cindy Corell, June, 2013.

In the years after that, they watched most aid groups shutting down projects, cutting those temporary jobs and leaving a country perhaps with more roads and a few more homes, but in a political situation even more dire than they had prior to 2010.

They still pray.

Dear God, we know you hear those prayers, and we add ours to theirs. Please let all who love the people of Haiti join with them, on the ground, at round tables, making space – Haitian people of all walks. Please help us to walk with them, listen to their ideas and step in when invited to be partners with the people of Haiti as they take steps toward a better life for all.

Dear Lord, we know your heart, too, has broken time and time again by the centuries of abuse the Haitians have suffered: by nature, by other nations, by their own government.

Ten years ago, we all yearned to believe that this massive earthquake would signal the change to an island nation already deep in poverty, already a land of broken promises.

We hoped that so many of us who love this nation and her courageous people would accompany them toward real, lasting change for the better.

But it hasn’t happened, Lord.

Please, we pray, let us hear their voices, let us amplify their voices, strengthen our hearing so we will listen to our friends in Haiti, your most beloved children, and walk with them toward the bright, lively and whole life they deserve.

We pray this in the name of your precious Son, Jesus Christ.


Gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing support the work of the Presbyterian Hunger Program in its mission to alleviate hunger and eliminate its root causes.

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