When I was 15 years old my parents took the family to Haiti. Their best friends from college were missionaries there and for years had extended an open invitation for all of us to come. To be honest, I don’t remember as much of that month-long experience as I wish I could. But the things I do recall – the scenes and images that have remained in my head and heart – have haunted me these past days.

I remember such profound levels of poverty that my teenage brain did not have categories to comprehend what it meant – personally or politically.

I remember thousands and thousands of beautiful smiles in the midst of devastating, heartbreaking conditions.

I remember watching Haitians sing, sing, and sing some more.

I remember the spectacular color of the flowers juxtaposed to dirt, dirt everywhere.

I remember struggling with the reality of our host’s Western and relatively comfortable home and lifestyle while children all around me begged for food.

Today, in the midst of all these memories, I grieve: for a people who already had so many strikes against them and now know even more devastation. For a people who continue to smile and sing…

And I hope.

My friend Kelly Diels has begun The Help Haiti Blog Challenge. You Can Do It. We Can Do It. Together.

Click on this hyperlink. Join her. I am…

Emma, Abby, and I will sit down today and look at the many organizations through which we can contribute to the rebuilding and healing of Haiti. And we will give.

I will wish I could do more.

I hope you can. I hope you will.