Day #2 and some questions I have after being here

Today, we saw more of the action…and the mission… of  Haiti.

Picture 063First 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.

Picture 014Picture 059Picture 058

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

And then, click here to see the commemoration take place at the nutrition center, where the kids learn where the food comes from.

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.

Picture 034Picture 005Picture 023 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.

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2 responses to “Day #2 and some questions I have after being here

  1. We watched all your clips. Awesome! Thanks for putting them up. It is so cool that we get to follow what you are doing from so far away. Technology is amazing! We look forward to hearing more when you get back. Safe travels.

  2. Laurie Eltrevoog

    Very, very moving. Your words made me think of Jesus, walking among the needy and the destitute and how he cared for them and ministered to them despite his own weariness, because he had rose early and “prayed up”.

    From the account in Mark 8 where He fed the 4,000: “during those days another large crowd gathered. Since they had nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them home hungry, they will collapse on the way, because some of them have come a long distance.”

    He had such compassion for the large, hungry crowds of people and He fed them. How beautiful that this mission is feeding the Haitian people with human means yet still with that same compassion that Jesus felt. It is hard because you are there for only a moment in time and yet you will carry these images with you for the rest of your life. Jesus could only minister physicially to the people for 3 years and then He left the work to us. You are so right that “we should be able to open our hearts to following Christ’s following about this”.! And you are raising that awareness in us.

    You are there for a reason, and Jesus knows how your heart is hurting for the people because His hurt as well. As you put your arms around those children, as you did in the picture above, they are feeling God’s love and your own heart is awakened, and God will continue to work. The Lord be with your spirit and grace be with you all in abundance!

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