Lost in all the aftermath of Haiti’s devastating earthquake two years ago is the fact that this beautiful country has been under siege from natural disaster and health epidemics for years.
When I served in Haiti in the late 1990s, it was a difficult place. The challenges of daily living are extraordinary and pull even the most committed missionaries out of their comfort zone. And many of those challenges remain today.
Despite the difficulties of living there, during my recent trip to celebrate 25 years of MAF service in Haiti I saw signs of hope, signs that things are changing. And I also saw that MAF is needed in this small Caribbean nation more than ever.
The value of being present in such a dark place is immeasurable, both from a physical and spiritual sense. When people know you truly care about them, you can help them so much more. They trust you—and you empower and equip them.
Infrastructure is slowly improving and Haiti is progressing, but the value of MAF airplanes and our presence in the country was borne out through my conversation with the people I met. Over and over, those serving the Lord in Haiti told me how much they appreciate MAF and our ability to transport people safely and swiftly, so they can focus on doing work instead of taking a day to recover from traveling brutal roads.
The impact of MAF’s presence in Haiti for a quarter of a century was tangible. Relationships with Haitian workers and aviation officials are strong. The partners we serve in the interior of the country value our presence. And most importantly, all of this synergistic relationship means the Gospel is going forth to people who are desperate to hear it.
We were doing a Ministry Partnership presentation at a church in Florida recently, and at the end, we typically do a Q&A session. A gentleman in the crowd stood up and said ” I want to say Thanks! MAF was able to fly me out of Haiti for an emergency appendectomy, otherwise I would have been in trouble” In a 2 sentence statement He did a better job of describing just how beneficial MAF is to the missions community than I did in 30 minutes!. I thought that was neat.