I'd like to be Ariana Grande's puppy, if only for a day. I first saw Sirius Black on Ariana's Instagram, a big-eyed mixed breed adopted bouncing ball of curly black fur, ensconced in a soft tan leather seat on a private jet.
As a country, Haiti has faced and continues to face enormous difficulties, but it has also proven remarkably resilient.
The new documentary Call For Help introduces us to a group of relief workers who took charge, using guerrilla-style tactics to ensure that the donated supplies that entered the country did not sit undistributed, that victims found their way to the medical help they needed.
It is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. And if any crime deserves its own month of awareness, it is trafficking. Owning and using another person for your own financial benefit and sense of power is horrific.
More than 1,000 farmers were forced off their land with only a few days' notice to make way for the park, and the crops they were growing on some of Haiti's most fertile land were dug up and replaced with concrete.
Given the current situation in Haiti and other places around the world, one needs to look beyond their tragedies and problems because they don't define the people or the country.
What Mary O'Grady's piece missed, as have many news stories on Haiti, however, is the remarkable progress Haiti has made since the devastating earthquake.
If we believe that all lives are equal, then we have to do more for these lives. At Direct Relief, we've been working to help train additional medical professionals (like midwives and birth attendants) and provide essential medical resources (like cancer therapies) but much more needs to be done.
On this fifth earthquake anniversary, I remember four-story buildings collapsed into a stack of concrete pancakes. It has been encouraging to see building and infrastructure progress the past couple of years. Still, the big picture can make my faith and hope go a bit wobbly.
Political and policy reform must emerge in Haiti, but I discovered that by accessing fair trade markets farmers could earn higher profits and begin to save money to buy their own land. First, however, they had to achieve fair trade certification.
Resurrection and hope abound, and not in Haiti alone. That continued hope and movement toward the reign of God are the result of the co-creative partnership of people and nations.
As we remember the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti five years ago, it is important that we understand that tragic event in the broader context of that nation's recent history. Thirty-four years ago, I was assigned to Haiti for two years as an economic officer in the U.S. Embassy.
Although signs of the earthquake are mostly gone, the memories of that day are still very fresh for the children we meet. They tell us their stories of that fateful day.
In October 2009, Raj Shah walked across the reception area into my office and closed the door. He told me that President Obama and Secretary Clinton wanted to nominate him to lead the US Agency for International Development (USAID). The decision wasn't so easy.
With this milestone around the corner, it's important to look back and celebrate the tremendous progress made in recent years, while keeping focus on remaining needs of the country and working to accelerate momentum around these efforts.
The first thing that struck me about Haiti was the chaos. While much of the rubble has been cleared from the streets and the earthquake is four and a half years behind them, millions of Haitians are still living in grinding poverty.