Presidential Election and Friendship: Some Words of Advice!

Presidential Election and Friendship: Some Words of Advice!
As we continue to experience this very sensitive topic we call “Presidential election” and the battle for the White House between Mr. Donald Trump and Mrs. Hillary Clinton, allow me to quickly share a few words of advice with you on the subject matter: Presidential election  and friendship.
  1.  It is okay (Should I say tolerable) for you and your friend to hold competing perspectives about politics.  All of us hold different ideologies and ideas about  social, economic, and political issues–even cultural and religious ones. We are firm about our beliefs and will not let them go. Some of them are helpful and human uplifting; others are unhealthy and unconstructive.
  2. Do not unfriend your friend on Facebook or stop following him/her–on whatever social media:twitter, wordpress, blogger, instagram, what have you?-because you just found out on a  post that he/she will vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton in this year’s presidential election. Mrs. Hillary Clinton or Mr. Donald Trump will be elected as our next President for only 4 yrs, if lucky, 8 yrs in reelection. Good and genuine friendship endures and lasts a little bit longer than the temporary presidential post.
  3. Watch your tongue! Keep your heart pure! Have I said to control your temper too?
  4. Do not demonize your friend or shame him or her on a public post! Be respectful and kind to all, especially your friends. After all, he/she is your friend. Donald or Hillary is not and probably will never befriend you.
  5. You have been trying to persuade your friend to vote for Hillary or Donald for a while now. It is not working. Give it up! Let the person choose and vote according to his or her conscience to the glory of God.
  6. Do not let your friendship with someone you love and care for fall apart because of  political difference or over this year’s presidential choice. It takes a lot of time to nurture and cultivate genuine friendship.
  7. It is okay to be a Christian and  be a democrat. Remember your faith is in no one or nothing else but in Jesus Christ.
  8. It is okay to be a Christian and be a republican. Remember your faith is in no one or nothing else but in Jesus Christ.
  9. It is okay to be a Christian and be an independent voter. Remember your faith is in no one or nothing else but in Jesus Christ.
  10. If your conscience is not clear about a particular presidential candidate, it is not unbiblical if you decide not to vote  in this year’s presidential election. There’s no biblical mandate that you have to vote in order to fulfill your civic duty as a christian of the Kingdom of God and citizen of the United States. God will not send you to hell nor will he disown you as his child.  In the same line of thought, always remember God is not a republican or a democrat.
 * This essay has previously been published elsewhere. This  is a re-post. For propositions 5-10, I take for granted most of my readers are followers of Christ.

Rechargeable Solar Lanterns Needed for Hurricane Victims in Haiti

Rechargeable Solar Lanterns Needed for Hurricane Victims in Haiti
Good morning, Readers & Friends: I just want to give  you an update about our relief efforts for the Hurricane victims in Haiti. So far, We have purchased 300 Rechargeable Solar Lanterns for the Hurricane Matthew Victims in Haiti.
We still need to get 700 more. We will distribute 1000 Lanterns to 1000 households in Les Cayes, Haiti.
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If you can help out, please click on the link below to make a donation.
 
Thank you,
Dr. Joseph

“Haiti has been cursed by the Devil: A Reminder by The Weather Channel Senior Meteorologist Stu Ostro”

“Haiti has been cursed by the Devil: A Reminder by The Weather Channel Senior Meteorologist Stu Ostro”

Below is the haunting and devilish image of Hurricane Matthew which The Weather Channel has constructed. This image has gone viral in the social media. The image is a very scary human skull with only 3 top teeth–no bottom teeth are noted; it is nothing less than the angry devil, with a terrific one red eye starring at the miserable people in Haiti. Its colors are red (eye), gray, and black.

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(screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-9-41-30-pm)

What is the significance of this caricature?

What is the significance of this devilish image and that one red eye looking down upon Haiti–from the top?

The Weather Channel Senior Meteorologist Stu Ostro, who claimed to have taken the Satellite shot, decided he was going to make Hurricane Matthew look like a skull. Chiefly, it is the devil’s image on that skull that best shows Haiti’s spiritual warfare and theodicy. Mr. Ostro has also decided this is a fair representation of Haiti as a country that has been cursed by the Devil himself. He is unapologetic about this ideological representation, which tells a pseudo-narrative about the Haitian people: the demonization of Haitian history, and American media’s projection about the plight and spiritual crisis of the Haitian people.

Interestingly, this same Meteorologist did not represent (equally) visually the destructive intervention of Hurricane Matthew in Cuba, Jamaica, Miami, the Florida Treasure Coast, St. Augustine, Georgia, and South Carolina–which have also been affected by the same Tropical Storm. Why Haiti?

Seven words summarize Mr. Ostro’s racist attitude toward Haiti: Haiti has been cursed by the Devil!

This is another example of American media and scientific racism which shows no empathy to black tragedy and the suffering of the Haitian people.

*Interestingly, Paul Meyer, an atmospheric scientist at NASA’s Earth Science Office, told CNN that the skull’s “teeth” are cold convective clouds.”

http://www.cnn.com/…/05/health/hurricane-matthew-skull-trnd/

 

Writing in the Dark in the Midst of the Storm: Theological Reflections about God, natural disasters, and the inevitable aftermath human suffering?

Writing in the Dark in the Midst of the Storm: Theological Reflections about God, natural disasters, and the inevitable aftermath human suffering?

 I couldn’t sleep Thursday night while Hurricane Matthew was passing by–with  incredible violence and aggression–in Fort Pierce, Florida where I live; rather than sleeping, I was writing in the dark of a category 4 storm. Rather keeping my eyes closed, on that dreadful night, writing about the fragility of life  and the certainty of death in this world has suddenly become a therapeutic moment for me to express my frustrations, disappointments, a sense of hopelessness–giving the fact that science and we humans cannot STOP natural disasters.  My ultimate problem was not/is not science or human knowledge; it was/is God himself. God has become THE PROBLEM in the dark in the midst of the Tropical Storm. 

On the other hand, I must confess that I’m a Calvinist theologically in the sense that I believe firmly in the comprehensive sovereignty and total control of God over natural disasters and human history, and that even natural disasters like deadly and powerful earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, typhoons, tropical storms, etc. do not take God by surprise, threaten his exhaustive power and sovereignty, and lessen his glorious majesty and overarching governance .

 Why did our prayers fail God’s attention? 
We prayed to God to save our lives, our friends, and safeguard our belongings.

In the case of Haiti, for example, Hurricane Matthew has taken both the lives and belongings of Christians and non-Christians, theists and non-theists, Vodouizan and  non-Vodou practitioners? 

How to think theologically about God, natural disasters, and the inevitable aftermath human suffering?

How to help Hurricane Matthew Victims in Haiti by Dr. Bertin Louis, Jr. 

How to help Hurricane Matthew Victims in Haiti by Dr. Bertin Louis, Jr. 
In addition to my previous post about how to help Hurricane victims in Haiti, allow me to share a few more words of advice about donations from a friend, Dr. Bertin Louis, Jr.

” Some people have asked me about Haiti and what you can do in light of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Matthew.

Here’s what you SHOULD NOT DO:

DO NOT DONATE A CENT TO THE RED CROSS.

Here’s a quote from a recent article about the Red Cross’s “efforts” in Haiti: 

“Since the 2010 Haiti earthquake NPR and ProPublica went in search of the nearly $500 million and found a string of poorly managed projects, questionable spending and dubious claims of success, according to a review of hundreds of pages of the charity’s internal documents and emails, as well as interviews with a dozen current and former officials.

The Red Cross says it has provided homes to more than 130,000 people, but the number of permanent homes the charity has built is six.”

DO NOT COLLECT IN-KIND GOODS TO SEND TO HAITI. 

Lessons learned from 2004 (Hurricane Jeanne) and 2010 (earthquake) is that these in-kind donations:

a) Destroy the local economy and destabilize the communities. Despite the media portrayals of Haiti, many of the goods you find here in the US can be found in Haiti. Merchants sell rice, canned goods, clothing, etc. So, how can they compete with free? 

b) Cause logistical and financial problems. You will need to collect/ package the goods, get them through customs in US and Haiti, and have a mechanism for distribution inside the country. Many groups in 2010 were stuck with a stockpile of goods that never made it to the intended people. Use your money, time and energy wisely.

c) Lead to an overabundance of some goods and a short supply of others. We see a number of well-intentioned organizations, churches, politicians hosting collection drives but without an official assessment of what is needed on the ground, the collections may end up being futile and leading to same problems as mentioned above. So, if a decision is made to take in-kind donations, the advice given is to wait for the official assessment of needed items.

Here’s WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Donate. Preferably to an organization on the ground with a solid reputation of delivering on its mission.  Here’s a list of Haitian NGOs that you can donate to.  I list Haitian NGOs here because, as the Haitian Embassy has mentioned in a previous Tweet sent out after Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti: 

“Hold off on clothes & food drives until assessments have been completed by those on the ground to avoid past mistakes”.  

Those “past mistakes” refers to donating to international aid organizations like Red Cross.  If you donate to a Haitian NGO, that aid will get to those affected on the ground.

HAITIAN-BASED ORGANIZATIONS:

MADRE (https://www.madre.org/)

Lambi Fund of Haiti (http://www.lambifund.org/)

Sowaseed (http://sowaseedonline.org/)

Haiti Communitere (http://haiti.communitere.org/)  

Sakala Haiti (http://www.sakala-haiti.org/)  

SOIL Haiti (https://www.oursoil.org/)

Konbit Solèy Leve (http://www.konbitsoleyleve.com/)

Volontariat pour le Développement d’Haïti (http://www.vdhhaiti.org/)

Fondation Aquin Solidarité (https://hibiscus-haiti.org/projects/fondation-aquin-solidarite-fas-park-design/)

GARR (http://www.garr-haiti.org/)

Hope for Today Outreach (https://hopefortodayoutreach.org/

If there are any other Haitian organizations that you know of, please tag them and/or add them to this list and share with others.  If you know of any Haitian NGOs that are in Jeremie, Port-à-Piment, Les Cayes, Port Salut, Dame Marie, Pestel, Aquin, St Louis de Sud, and Leogane, please post links for them so people can direct funds to places where aid is needed and can get in the hands of those who need it most.

Here are some non-Haitian organizations with proven track records of helping and partnering with Haitians:

NON-HAITIAN ORGS WITH PROVEN TRACK RECORDS IN 

HAITI:

Doctors without Borders (http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/)

Roots of Development (http://www.rootsofdevelopment.org/)

Partners in Health (http://www.pih.org/)

Border of Lights (http://www.borderoflights.org/)

Nova Hope for Haiti (http://www.novahope.org/)

IJDH (http://www.ijdh.org/)

Thank you for your time and attention. My hope is that whatever aid that is intended for helping Haitians in this dire time will get directly to my people.  

Keep Haiti and others in the path of Hurricane Matthew in your thoughts.”—Bertin Louis

How to Help Hurricane Matthew Victims in Haiti

If you want to make a donation to those affected by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, please send your donations to the address listed below:
Hope for Today Outreach (HTO)

P.O. Box 7353

Port Saint Lucie, FL 34985

Or you contact us below:

By Phone

772-985-0696

• By Email

customers@hopefortodayoutreach.org

By the way, among the other items we’re taking to the Hurricane Matthew Victims in Southern Haiti (i.e. Les Cayes: Chardonniere), we just purchased 300 “185Lumens Waterproof Portable Outdoor Camping Lantern solar Lamp Rechargeable Emergency Tent Light with USB Hook” for $ 1374.00 at Dhgate.com. Our goal is to purchase 1000 of them to distribute to 1000 Haitian families.

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If you want to make a donation toward this goal, please click on the link below for further instructions:

https://hopefortodayoutreach.org/…/post-hurricane-matthew-…/

* We’re sorry that we will not take to Haiti any items that are already available in Haiti or American goods that will weaken Haiti’s agriculture, economy, and market.

Thank you very much
Dr. Celucien Joseph (“Doctor Lou”)
President of Hope for Today Outreach