Today, we saw more of the action…and the mission… of Haiti.
First stop was the Calvary Church which is the main church that HSM works with.
Seeing the church and the school that it has was wild. The kids we met seemed just like regular school kids, except they didn’t speak our language and they all wore the same uniform. We shook their hands, distributed their school supplies to them, and then did the same for another group. Click Here to see my interview with Bob Stine and Bob Hillegonds of Elim Christian Services on the rooftop of Calvary Church
We toured the facility, saw where some of the kids sleep, and left for the Monchile nutrition center.
The Monchile nutrition center, also in Jacmel, is a small room in hut-shack-looking-thing to which street kids come once a day and receive a meal. Click Here to see my lame attempt at a video to explain what this place is all about
They get a rice compound meal that is packed with nutrients. They seem to range in age from 3 or 4 up to teens. Gayle and Bob are the adults with Elim Christian services that help to send the meal packs to the nutrition center, so they got to meet the kids they help feed on a daily basis. They also got to assist in the distribution of the school packs.
Then this evening we went to a church way up in the mountains. It’s a church that was being built when a hurricane came in and blew it away. A couple of generous friends who led the charge and donated money to have it rebuilt (with much more sturdy materials) are on our team and got to see the church building be dedicated, completely full of spirited Haitians who love Jesus and sang very loudly to him.
It was interesting that at the same service at which the church building was dedicated, there were 5 small children that were dedicated to the Lord at the same service. Brett Casino got to give the benediction to the audience (click here for that video) which was 99% Haitians and 1% Americans.
And now for the subjective part.
A couple of thoughts came through my mind (and some of the other team members’ minds as well). Things like: What are most of these Haitians thinking about us who come from a distance and take pictures of them while helping them out? Same with the people on the side of the road at whom we wave while riding by in a car while they’re walking for miles to go get water for their family. But they still wave and smile. Huh?
At what point (especially without God) do you lose your will to live after your life is seemingly impossibly difficult day after day and it never changes? How could a couple of people live in a 10 x 10 shack in the mountains with no running water, sewer, or electricity? What would you even do? What is it about Americans that make us mainly want to take pictures, feel good about ourselves for feeling bad about this situation, and then just go home? What is it about our friends that will make most of them not really even care or try to relate and listen when we tell them about our trip?
Or the big one: How can I call myself a Christ follower if I seriously don’t care about these people, their needs, or needs of the poor, helpless, widow and orphan in my heart? I’m pretty sure I can’t.
That doesn’t mean I’ll be coming back here all the time (though I do hope to revisit) or that you’re to hear me talking Haiti, Haiti, Haiti all the time like you do from some people after they go on a trip…it’s more of a state of mind, a position of heart. This kind of trip opens your EYES to the atrocities and horrid living conditions in the world, but I believe that we should already be able to open our HEARTS to following Christ’s following about this without even having to go on some kind of trip like this.