Hope and Healing

An A-Typical Thanksgiving

October 13, 2016Emergency, Haiti

Guest Blogger – Brian Hatchell, cbm Canada

This past weekend was Thanksgiving here in Canada. I must admit I don’t typically give a lot of thought to ‘giving thanks’ over this holiday. Consider me odd, or just self-absorbed, honestly, neither would be wrong.

My focus over most holidays is always on being in the presence of my family, indulging in my favourite foods, and relishing an extra day off.

This weekend felt different for one main reason – Hurricane Matthew and its devastating impact on Haiti.

I feel a deep connection to Haiti because I’ve been there twice — for extended periods of time — following the 2010 earthquake.

Haiti is one of the poorest countries on the face of the planet and for some reason the country just keeps getting hammered. There doesn’t seem to be any reprieve from the pain and suffering.


I’m not an expert in politics or economics or history, so I don’t know enough to comment on how those topics have played a factor in Haiti’s current circumstances. But I do know this – the people I have had the privilege to meet in Haiti are no different than me, and to see them suffer yet another disaster truly breaks my heart.

I’ve met children who lost their parents, parents who lost their children, men and women who’ve lost family, friends and support networks. The suffering seems endless. Those I’ve spoken with have simple wants and desires, just like me: To be able to provide for themselves and their families; for their children to go to school; to have a safe place to live with access to affordable food; and to have access to healthcare and a future for their children.


Their hopes and dreams aren’t any different than mine, or probably yours.

It just doesn’t seem fair to me that Haiti and its residents get hit by another ‘natural’ disaster. It doesn’t seem natural at all when I’m sitting around the table with my extended family, enjoying an over-abundance of great food, side-splitting laughter, amid the creature comforts of my life.

Many, many times over the weekend, while I was reaping the benefits of my blessings, my mind would stop and wander to the places I have seen with my own eyes in Port au Prince. I couldn’t help think about those I’ve met who are probably still living in the tents they received after the 2010 earthquake – wondering if they still had a tent or was it blown away by gale-force winds. Were they surrounded by their loved ones? Do they feel any joy or have any reason to be thankful this weekend? Do they even have the necessities of life? Do they even have life itself?

The death-toll continues to rise. I’m not trying to be overly-dramatic, but we live in one of the greatest, if not, the greatest country on earth. We have so much. And let’s be honest, many of us have way more than we could even truly need.


I am genuinely thankful to live in Canada. To be surrounded by my family. To never truly want or need for anything. I feel blessed by God for the life He has given me. So today, I am going to share my thankfulness and appreciation by making a donation to cbm’s emergency response appeal for Haiti. That is how I am going to show God how thankful I am that He has blessed me beyond all measure. If you feel the same way, I ask you to prayerfully consider doing the same thing. It’s truly the least we can do for our brothers and sisters who are suffering and in need.