Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
~ Romans 12:15
By Sami Rigelsky
Tomorrow morning you wake up and it’s time to get your kids ready for school. The problem is, you can’t get them ready because they can’t go. Why can’t they go? Well, because you live in a country that doesn’t have public schooling for all. You haven’t been able to sell a thing in weeks, so you have no money to buy the things required for your child to attend the school that you don’t really have enough money to send them to. You can’t afford the supplies, the uniform, the socks, shoes, and perfect little bows for girls. You can’t buy a backpack, and you sure don’t have the money to get them transportation. So, you have to choose. You have four school aged kids and only one can go to school, and that is a stretch. Three will stay home and take care of each other so that you can try to get some food on the table. You try to borrow money from family and friends and commit to working it off to pay back what you owe, all while also trying to work your regular job selling various things on the street to pay the bills. You finally get enough money gathered together to get your one child into school, but wait, there is more.
School hasn’t started yet. Why? Well, the country is out of gas. It’s been three weeks since there was much to be found. People are hoarding the little they are lucky enough to have, and now, the situation is so desperate that people are fighting and protesting because of the fuel crisis and government corruption. The government did this, and there is not a thing you can do about it. The streets are chaotic and dangerous, so, your kids can’t leave. Now you must leave them home alone because you have no family to care for them. Everyone is out trying to work to get enough money for just one meal to share with the entire family. The protests are only supposed to last a few days, but they have been going off and on again for over a year now. The country is boiling under the surface and you are just waiting for the pressure to give again. For chaos and destruction to ensue. When will school start again for the one child you chose to go? Who really knows. Once they can begin to walk to school again, you can’t help but wonder what will happen on the way or the way home, as these things seem to have no mercy for the innocent here.
It doesn’t stop there. Your spouse drives public transportation to try to help make ends meet for your family. There is no gas, there is no way for him to drive anyone anywhere. Even if he was one of the lucky ones to get gas, nobody has money to pay the price he had to raise. He walks in the door late at night after another 13 hour day of sitting at the pump waiting for gas. He’s empty handed, yet again. No gas, no work, no money. No money, no school, no food. No gas, no power, no water. Your life is no, no, no.
You are being bruised and battered by a system that found you guilty as charged simply because of where you were born. I forgot to tell you that in the middle of the agony, your eight month old is nine pounds, wasting away at the hands of greed. A nurse at the free clinic is holding him down & rubbing the bridge of his nose, trying to bring comfort as they try to place an IV that might save his life. Nine times they try, he’s so dried up that his veins are unstable at best. He’s too weak to even cry as he lays there limp. His fever seems hotter than the Haitian sun and you can’t help but wonder if he will even make it home. He doesn’t. This world was agonizingly cruel to him, too. Again, there is no mercy for the innocent here.
This is your life.
This is not fiction. It’s not a joke. It is real life for many in Haiti. The tribulation the people are enduring is maddening.
The gold-laced greed of the rulers here cause the tears you shed over the truth that….
there is no mercy for the innocent here.
First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
~ 1 Timothy 2:1-4
(Photo by Lucxama Sylvain)
About the author:
Sami Rigelsky is co-founder, along with her husband Joe Rigelsky,
of Upstream International.
Sami is a fierce mama bear who fights for the needs of children and families across the globe. She is passionate about being a voice for the voiceless and bringing hope to the hopeless. Sami loves supporting Joe in any capacity he & Upstream needs, while pursuing her personal dreams and goals for family, life, and ministry.