Saturday, February 6, 2010


Haiti or Bust, v2

Thanks again for everyone who chimed in (both in email and on the blog) in response to my earlier post about Haiti. Believe it or not, there are so many people volunteering to go to Haiti--and their infrastructure is still so compromised--that you have to basically apply for the job.

I am still waiting to hear back from some churches; there was one place that had an opening but it coincided perfectly with a conference at which I had already agreed to teach.

At this point I have blocked out two separate weeks on my calendar and registered with this (secular) group. I have never felt like such a privileged American slob as when filling out the form to convince them they should pick me. A sample (paraphrased for humor and brevity):

List your medical training? Band-Aid technician; cleaned up son's puke and poop.

List your construction skills? Opened bathroom door the other day that had been locked from the inside.

Previous volunteer work. Setup chairs with the janitor every week at my old church, and was assistant coach to a junior high basketball team. (That's actually the real answer I put!!)

Other skills. I'm not actually a certified CPA, but I might be able to help with bookkeeping if you need that. I am a good writer but I'm not doing grant proposals to governments.

Why should we pick you? I have a blog and I bet I could get you guys more donations than some other skill-less clown. So if it comes down to a dozen skill-less clowns and you have one spot, pick me.

Dear Dr. Murphy,

You intentions are noble and I understand where your heart is in your decision to go to Haiti. However, in Haiti, you are just another American without much practical experience in the things they need the most.

You would do much greater good for the entire world population by sticking to what you do best: explaining economics to laymen. It may not be worth you going to Haiti and possibly getting killed to help 3 people, when you are helping THE WHOLE WORLD by spreading the Austrian message of freedom.

I don't mean to be offensive, but I believe its best to help others in the areas you excel at. Unless you can also explain Austrian Economics to French speaking Haitins, please stay here and spread your gospel.

P.S. I appreciated the blog you wrote about "Loving you enemies". It was good for me to step back and insert love where I was spewing hate.
Dear Anonymous:

It is the Christian way to both spread universal truths that will enlighten and comfort the many and to perform individual acts for the good of the desperate few.

I think that Dr. Murphy can do both, especially if it is the Holy Spirit that motivates him.
Despite my previous comment (the first posting by anonymous), if you feel like the lord is telling you to do this, go with it. I wish you the best!!!

My first post was probably out of selfishness, because I want to continue reading your blogs as long as i can :)

I hesitate to say this because cynics will think this is a publicity stunt or something. But (assuming I don't die or become a socialist or whatever) I really think the experience will be good for me to promote the message of freedom as we conceive it. It's pretty easy for someone to say, "Don't throw tax dollars at it" while he's watching the Superbowl. (Note I don't have a problem with people watching the Superbowl.) I will have a lot more moral authority to say (e.g.) that certain things aren't helping if I see it with my own eyes.

But to repeat, I am doing this because I think God wants me to. I agree with you, on the face of it it sounds like a crazy idea.
Go for it, my friend!

What you could do for now is to boost your resume. Learn CPR, ask someone to show you basic masonry, etc... Perhaps the preparation to go this time will allow you to go for real another time.
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