Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Earthquake Survivors Speak in Fort Lauderdale

The ends of events are always a bit crazy, but I love the chaos. 100 to 500 people move around carrying things. Some know where they are going, most don't. I usually stand in the middle of the chaos pointing people to different places around the room where they should deposit their ingredients, dishes, supplies, trash, etc. Then I start shoving things back into the cabinets which somehow manage to hold a room full of stuff.

That is exactly what I was doing when two people came up to me on Saturday. The woman spoke to me while the man hung back a little, waiting and smiling. She said they were survivors of the earthquake in Haiti and they would like to share a few words with the group. I asked them their names and got a general idea of what they wanted to say, and then I interrupted Joel, who was closing the event. When they began speaking, it was mesmerizing. The woman spoke first, then her husband Gary. He was blind, and he had a real gift with words.

They thanked the volunteers for the work that they had done. Then they spoke about the earthquake, what it felt like, what they saw. They told us a little bit about the conditions in Haiti. "These people have nothing," Gary said. "It may seem like you don't have very much here, but every day you wake up and you at least have a cup of water. The people of Haiti don't even have that." They were so grateful to be there, having heard about the event through a person they'd met only the day before. They were grateful to be able to serve, especially to make meals headed towards Haiti. They were grateful to be alive and to be together.

They reminded me that although I don't have a lot of money compared to people in the United States, I am so rich. I am blessed to have my family, to have friends, to be able to serve, and to have abundant food and clean water.

I am so very blessed.

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