Comedian Chris Young calls into the show for the first time from the great state of Michigan with some stuff he needs to get off his chest… and I’m here to help!
For starters, Chris spent some time in Jamaica a while back and took an introductory scuba class. Now, an admitted beginner, Chris is full aware that he isn’t familiar with ALL of the modern terminology surrounding scuba diving, but when the dive instructors kept referring to Chris as “Buoyant Man”, he’s pretty sure they were simply calling him fat in scuba-code. Needless to say, Chris “Buoyant Man” Young didn’t get to see much of the bottom of the ocean that day – despite the huge amount of weights they strapped to him. Although, at one point, Chris does believe that they used him as an anchor for the dive boat… that is when he transitioned to “Anchor Man”!
Now, with Halloween right around the corner, Chris is reminded of a simpler era when he would go trick-or-treating with his family and friends. However, when he was 13, his mom realized that this might be his last year of trick-or-treating before he and his friends grew too old for it.
“Honey, this might be your last year of trick-or-treating, so would you like me to drive you around the neighborhood?”
“Mom, I’m 13-years-old. If you have to drive me around the neighborhood, I want to be Invisible Man!”
“Believe me, son… there are times when I also wish you were invisible!”
I remember, as a kid, always getting the Spiderman mask with the rubber band that stretched around the back of my head. It seemed I always got the one that was attached to the broken staple right at my temple, so it was constantly carving into my face all night long. In hindsight, Invisible Man would have been much better.
Up next, my guest is a guy who has had a real challenging couple of weeks. Edouard Lassengue is the Regional Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean for Compassion International. These last few weeks, Edouard has been hard at work in Haiti, where Hurricane Matthew left behind devastation of Biblical proportions. Hundreds of Haitians lost their lives from the effects of the storm.
Now, Compassion, International has several dozen child development centers in Haiti, caring for over 100,000 children. Currently, the southern end of the island nation in particular is suffering in the hurricane’s aftermath. Even after all these days, they are still merely sorting out and making sense of the immense amount of damage the hurricane inflicted on the hundreds of churches in the region, the children living there, and their families. We’re talking – in this small area of Haiti alone – over 30,000 kids directly impacted by Hurricane Matthew.73 of Compassions child development centers had to temporarily close because they were so severely damaged. Compare this to the devastating earthquake Haiti endured in 2010 when only 40 centers were forced to close.
The hurricane destroyed people’s farms and plantations, so the economic hit will continue to be felt for months as Haitians of all stations in life try to start over.
But, before anyone can really start rebuilding, they are all faced with the daunting task of assessing the full extent of the damage.
For example, Edouard learned pretty early on that at least three children died during the storm, in addition to a Compassion tutor and several parents of some of the kids enrolled at the centers.
Immediate relief efforts have consisted of much needed food, water, and shelter for the people affected by the rain and winds. But, even as the winds subside, the potential of a deadly cholera outbreak still looms. To combat this, Compassion is tirelessly trying to give everyone fresh water and filters to use for the well and stream water the people use… and they are praying without ceasing!
Then, the sooner they can get the centers back up and running, the better – if for no other reason, but to bring emotional support, stability, and a sense of normalcy back to the communities.
You see, when the children are not at the centers, but have to stay at their devastated homes each day, all they take in is all the sadness and destruction around them. But, when they are able to gather together at the development centers, they are able to emotionally and spiritually take a breath of fresh air, play with their friends, and be ministered to by the center staff and local pastors.
Unlike typical disaster relief organizations, such as the Red Cross, Compassion International doesn’t simply run into danger zones and temporarily offer quick relief. It’s actually almost as if they are in disaster relief mode 24/7/365 wherever they are in the globe. Because the disaster of abject poverty wipes out families. So, Compassion steps in to help not only the children, but the entire community by offering places to meet, eat, receive medicine, spiritual hope and prayer all day every day. One thing that is great is that Compassion doesn’t work alone. Wherever they have centers established, they work with the local Christian churches. Knowing their communities best, it is the churches who reach out and find those who are most vulnerable and in need of ministering to. Then, Compassion comes alongside the churches and support them in ministering to their communities in a sustainable fashion that makes disciples – not just clothed and fed neighbors.
You can join in their efforts by visiting Compassion.com and donating directly to Haiti. No matter what size of donation you can muster up, every dollar counts tremendously!