Today's guest post is from Jerry Miner. Jerry is the Church Relations Guy at Water Missions Int'l. The word Cholera is a trigger word at Water Missions International. To us it is an “in your face” insult.  It means that people are sick and dying from something that we work endless hours to prevent.  Last Thursday was one of those days.  It was gut wrenching. More than 100 deaths and there shouldn’t have even been one.

That same week, I read Mike’s post, titled 6 Hard Truths About Carrying Heavy Loads, and I found myself saying “YES! That’s where we have been through the last two days.” So let me give a twist to Mike’s post: 6 Hard Truths About Carrying Heavy Loads—HAITI STYLE

CARRYING PEOPLE’S STUFF IS HARD— In Haiti, everybody has stuff that needs to be carried. No, that’s not exactly right—they don’t have stuff. It is not stuff, it is they themselves who need to be lifted up. And if you think books are heavy, try lifting lives that have been beaten down for centuries.

IT DOES CONNECT US— I’ve been to Haiti. I have stayed all night in their villages. I have watched the sun come up and said, “This is the last day these people will drink deadly water.” When I heard that cholera hit, I was worried about the people I met, but thankfully, the system that I had installed has protected this community from cholera. Last week our team was in the cholera stricken area, and we connected in a way that very few will ever experience. They need us and we need them.

CRITICISM IS PART OF THE AGREEMENT— I never imagined that I would be criticized for helping people, but someone actually questioned (via a tweet) how we could respond so quickly. They basically accused us of having hoarded systems. “Why weren’t these systems already in use?” they asked.  Woah! The systems had arrived in Haiti just a few days ago, took a long time to get through customs, and were being brought in to be installed in other villages. We were extremely fortunate to have anything available at all.

BREAK THE RULES— Do you know that there are all kinds of rules on how to help people? The real reasons that people passed by the beaten traveler in the parable of the Good Samaritan was because of all the rules. Rules about HELPING people or NOT Helping people. Amazing! We just need 2 rules: 1) Love Jesus with absolutely everything you have and 2) love everybody just like you love yourself. Tear out all the other pages.

THEY ARE UNABLE— You know, no matter how much you believe that the human spirit is resilient, sometimes it just isn’t.  There are just some times, and some conditions, that we just can’t make it in. It’s not just about being people of the second chance—without our help they have NO chance.

ALONG THE WAY YOU WILL WANT TO BAIL— Every day! This is not fun. It’s not even always rewarding. Some days it just absolutely stinks, and there is no hiding it. Some days you do everything you possibly can to help and it is not enough, or you try to help and you get totally taken advantage of—but you don’t bail. You can’t. You are stuck where you are, and that is a good thing, because if you bail they fail.

Recently, my friend Jim Gray did a post on an initiative we are running called Gifts of Water.   GIFTS of WATER is about sharing the load. $10 could literally save a life. Gather friends and help share the load.