~Did you know that churches all over Haiti send missions teams to other areas that struggle more than they do?
~Did you know that community organizations of Haitians, Like Family Social, raise money for school supplies and community development projects?
~Did you know that Haitians care for one another’s children…daily?
~Did you know that everyday in Haiti neighbors will visit an elderly blind man in Fond Dous, make him food and rotate sleeping in his bamboo house so he is not alone at night?
~Did you know that sometimes people stand in the road just to warn people of a large pothole or rock?
~Did you know that Haitians regularly take in children from neighbors, family & friends who cannot care for them?
~Did you know that it is culturally expected to give to anyone in need here, and they do?
~Did you know that they do all this without knowing what tomorrow holds?
~Did you know that sometimes the food they shared was all they had?
~Did you know that they take in children because it is right not because they have enough to do so?
~Did you know that when many Haitian men see an elderly woman they tenderly hug and kiss her and call her “mami”?
~Did you know that in Haiti there are few mistakes if any that turns a brother into an enemy?
~Did you know that Haitian parents send their kids to school with perfect uniforms, shiny shoes, and neat hair from lean-to houses with no running water or electric?
If you are one of those hyper-cynical individuals, just hang with me Mr or Mrs glass 1/2 full. Nothing is true ALL of the time. But the reality is, Haiti gets bad press. The bad press comes from a misunderstanding of financial distributions. The bad press comes from American’s focusing on the weaknesses of the culture instead of its strengths. The bad press comes from pictures highlighting the brokenness, instead of pictures of the beauty. Is the brokenness real? Is the political structure corrupt and broken? Are there corrupt leaders? Is there bribery? Does child slavery exist? Are there abandoned children? You could ask it better this way. Is there sin? YES to all of the above. How are American politics shaping up in this season? My point is this. To see only the brokenness is just not intellectually honest. Although America is one of the most violent developed nations, we still see all the beauty. America is a mixed bag. More good than bad. Culturally speaking, so it Haiti. They HAVE less…they ARE not less!
***side note to my missionary friends holding dying babies, fighting off death like warriors, winning…losing, giving until your bodies are so weary you just collapse into bed at night. You must share the reality of what is happening here and so many of you do that with such love and respect for Haitians. Don’t hear this to say that we should not tell what we see and share the need. We have to. Be mindful that we do have a choice how we share the need and where we place the blame for the brokenness.
The poorest country in the western hemisphere is not sitting on its hands! In a country where everyday is a struggle to survive and death catches too many, too early..there is immense love and community. Missionaries are not the MVP’s. Haitian’s are the real MVPs. I watch this structure as a visitor, a spectator, not really able to understand or take part in the rhythm of their relationships or the dance of their communities. They wake before the sun and toil. They give and assume responsibility when they don’t have too. They smile, laugh and give in the face of struggle. There is no life flight to take Haitians away when the health issue is too serious and requires better medical care. When it rains here the double edged sword cuts deep as crops are nourished and beds with the sick, elderly and children are left damp. The sewage runs ankle deep with diseases but the rain is needed because cisterns and catchment systems hold drinking water. The rain takes as many lives as it gives. Millions of Haitians accomplish everything above in the middle of a daily battle to survive.
Missionaries are here to serve. We are here to be a support system for the Haitians that are reaching and touching their friends and family. We are here to resource, love, & learn. Haiti will continue to be pulled from despair by Haitians. They are the workers and the ones who really sacrifice. They are the real heroes. One of the things that inspires me the most about the work we do is that it is led and directed by our Haitians connections. Our friends who are Haitian Pastors and community leaders have dreams and goals for their communities. Our friends who run children’s homes and believe that God has a plan for each of the children in their care. Maybe what they feel impressed to do is not what we wanted to do. It is not what makes us feel special and gives us goosebumps. We choose to believe that the needs are known by the people who really understand this incredible culture that we sit quietly outside of. Many Haitians are diligently serving one another and we are honored to learn from them and serve along side them. We have to listen. Do we have things to offer, absolutely? We should use our gifts, talents, & knowledge to serve. SERVE. Whatever the work God has called you to, do it humbly.
Thanks for supporting us. We believe in Haiti, Haitians and what God can do through obedient people. When you support us, you support them and their efforts.