About two weeks ago a young girl in a school uniform sat on the front porch in Port au Prince, at the Heartline Maternity Center. She was waiting for a Depo Provera birth control injection. Beth McHoul, our Director, noticed her quickly. It is unusual for young ladies in school uniforms to be on our front porch.
The young girl was brought to a private room and asked, "Why do you need birth control? Are you having sex? Are you safe?"
Her response is one that our orderly western paradigm often fails to understand or accept. She said, "I am living with my Uncle."
"He is forcing me."
"I don't want a baby."
"My mother lives in the United States."
Even for those of us with many years in Haiti, this reality stuns us.
It is quite easy for us as Americans with some protection and laws and order, to pass judgement on the women of Haiti (and the world).
We often hear how "pathetic" it is that Haitian women "keep having babies". The very next thing we sometimes hear is, "Why are you giving unmarried women birth control?" or "Birth control causes abortion, aren't you a Christian organization?"
This is painful. There is so much wrong with these black and white conclusions and so much wrong with quick judgment. Mercy trumps judgment. Grace trumps all. Let us be to others a lifeline of mercy and grace and understanding.
While our minds seek certainty and answers, these women live lives without certainty or easy answers. This requires us to step out of our paradigm.
This story is meant to say to you, dear reader, the rules of the world are not the rules of your life and your reality. The women of resource poor countries do not have protection under the law and they often times have little (to nothing) they can do to protect themselves from rape, abuse, and horrifying injustice.
That is why I am sharing these videos and this brand new book with you. That is why I shared the Haiti story above. The Locust Effect must find itself on every humanitarian course required reading list. It should be read by those heading into resource poor countries. It should be used as a tool to teach each of us that care to defend the marginalized and uplift the downtrodden. All who wish to see poverty reduced will want to read this book.
I long for His Kingdom Here and Now. Don't you? Let us continue the difficult work of bringing heaven to earth as best we can by standing up, speaking up, informing ourselves and others and ACTING on behalf of those trapped in systems of violence and poverty.
The Locust Effect is an uncomfortable and challenging read but it’s message is too important not to be heard.
WHERE TO BUY THE BOOK:
The Locust Effect can be purchased in hard copy or in Kindle format at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.
If you buy the book THIS WEEK (Feb 2-8) a generous donor will give IJM $20 per book to help fund the fight.*
(*up to $40,000 matching)