I still remember the moment. I had invested six months, hundreds of dollars, and countless training hours leading up to my attempt to run across Tennessee in a 314-run (500K) called Vol State in the heat of July 2016. The first day had been difficult, yet I had managed fourth place and 98 miles by […]
A year ago when I traveled to Haiti, a new friend, Kent Annan of Haiti Partners, was a big part of me getting there. Why? After calling everyone I knew with connections to Haiti, his lead connected me with the relief organization that ended up flying a friend and I into the Port-au-Prince airport only two weeks after the January 12th earthquake. I’ll always be grateful to him for his help.
Little did I know Kent himself has put together a book on his experiences working in Haiti since the quake. It’s called “Aftershock” and a book I highly recommend (especially since purchasing it helps his work in Haiti).
Below is a review by Activist Faith co-founder Dan King. I encourage you to read it, get the book, and spread the word about the good things God is doing in midst of the tragedy in Haiti.
book review: aftershock by @kentannan
I remember it like it was yesterday.
I looked at the box in the pantry, and something inside me broke.
Next thing I know, I’m on my knees crying harder than I ever remember
crying in my life.
My 17-month old son had been diagnosed just days prior
with Juvenile Diabetes. My world was shattered and all I could do was
cry… and ask why.
I asked why God could ever allow something like this to happen in our lives. And the more I asked, the less I understood.
I felt the aftershocks of that event for a long time. Actually, I still do years later.
I think that’s why Kent Annan’s latest book After Shock: Searching for Honest Faith When Your World Is Shaken
resonated with me so much. In it Kent talks about how he’s wrestled
with God in the days and months after the massive earthquake that killed
something like “230,001? people a year ago.
In the book he first talks about his own struggles and wrestling with
God. He asks the question that many Christians don’t like to think
about, and than many atheists use as their proof/judgement against God…
“How could a loving God allow so many innocent people to die/suffer like this?”
It’s a question that can shake a man’s faith to the core.
Kent then searches for what real, authentic faith looks like. And he
seems to find it in places that he may not have expected it.
The book reads more like a Psalm of Lament than the memoir of a man
who has doubts about his God. He recalls events and conversations during
his visits to Haiti after the earthquake. And as he shares these
stories, we see a resilient people who’ve lived through unimaginable
devastation. And we also see a glimpse inside the heart and mind of a
Christian man who’s not afraid to take on the tough questions.
I’m still not sure that he’s really found all of the answers to those
questions. But that’s one of the things that I find beautiful and
authentic about this book. Sometimes there aren’t answers. But even when
there are no answers, we can still find faith. At least that’s what
he’s discovered in Haiti.
When it comes to Haiti, Kent Annan is the real deal. I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing him about his first book called Following Jesus Through the Eye of the Needle.
In that book he talks about his time living down there in an effort to
be more effective in his ministry to the people who live in such extreme
poverty. So his stories in After Shock come as a result of this life and ministry in Haiti. His connection there is deep. And personal.
As Kent discussed in this book, we all have ‘earthquakes’ that happen
in our lives. One of mine was that day that my son was diagnosed with
Diabetes. Reading about Kent’s experiences and struggles has forced me
to be honest about my own doubts and questions. In the end I feel
stronger knowing that it’s okay for me to lament too.
I don’t think that it’s an accident that there are more Psalms of
Lament in the Bible than there are Psalms of Thanksgiving and Praise.
I’m learning more about the art of lament, and Kent just helped me
understand how to live it.
BURROUGHS is an author, activist, and co-founder of Activist Faith.
Dillon served in Haiti following the epic 2010 earthquake and has
investigated modern slavery in the US and internationally. His books
include Undefending Christianity, Not in My Town (with Charles J.
Powell), and Thirst No More (October). Discover more at DillonBurroughs.org.