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As a young kid growing up, I never thought that life would have its rough moments. When you grow up in a household where both parents are always around and never having to worry about having your next meal, it can cause you to be unaware of the true problems going on. Growing up in the catholic church, I was always taught to have a strong faith in God, but for the good and worst on January 12, 2010, all that changed.
My grandmother, a very traditional Catholic, was determined to spread her religion with her kids and grandchildren. She goes to church every Sunday and will have my siblings and I tag along with her. “Always have faith in God,'' is something my grandmother frequently tells me. When I was younger, that quote was always ingrained in my head. St. Kieran Church is a holy place where I spent a good portion of my life and learned to praise God from religious education every Wednesday and mass on Sunday. For many years, I never questioned what I was learning from the church until a certain point.
If you didn't already know, the specific date that I mentioned earlier holds very deep to many Haitians like myself. That horrific day was one that had an earthquake with a magnitude of seven and caused the deaths of roughly 250,000 people. In a country that was already in poverty, the worst that could happen occurred. As a seven-year-old at the time, I could see the sadness in my family's eyes as we would watch the news every day. I feel that it hurt my grandparents the most because all of them were born and raised in Haiti and immigrated to America to provide better lives for their children. I knew to see your motherland destroyed by a natural disaster, must have been hard on them.
At this particular point in my life, I was very skeptical about everything that I had learned over the past seven years. I was taught for so long how God can do so many miracles and how he loved all of his children. I couldn't understand how somebody that I have been worshiping my whole life could allow something that tragic to happen. When 70% of the population is below the poverty line and something that destructive happens, I start to question my faith. Of course, me being so young, I didn't have the right amount of knowledge. After a while, I started to feel disappointed in myself, so I had to meet with my priest. The information that I took made me realize that life is all about obstacles and how you can overcome those things and learn from them in the future. Still to this day, I feel that God was testing me and I am grateful for having this important event happening in my life because the aftermath helped me have a stronger connection with my religion than ever before.
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