The evening before our trip to Haiti began, I went out to dinner with my long-time friend, John. Through the years, John has worked in missions–both short-term and longer-term. And he’s been coming to Haiti off and on for nearly 20 years.
“You’ve never seen anything like it,” he told me.
Now less than 24 hours later, I can affirm he was right.I’ve been to my share of developing nations and spent time in drug-infested and crime-ridden neighborhoods. I’ve looked into the eyes of many addicts, men and women who had reached the end of their hope. But John was right–I’ve never been to a place where it’s not just neighborhoods but an entire capital city. It’s heart-breaking really.
I caught very few smiles amidst the hum drum routine of Haitian life that is anything but normal by western standards. I couldn’t help but wonder how a nation could reach this point.
A poor person’s farm may produce much food, but injustice sweeps it all away. – Proverbs 13:12 (NLT)
The sentiments of that verse captures the feel and mood of Haiti–and it’s also the very reason MAF is serving here, to help bring justice for the broken and hurting. It’s easy to get jaded while attempting to help some people lost in a sea of injustice. One government aid worker I spoke with on the plane was passionate about her work yet expressed no confidence that things would ever change in Haiti. It was a douse of cold water to what I wanted to find during my time here.
However, she’s right. Things won’t change … if we’re simply counting on people — in their own strength — to overcome a dark spiritual oppression and a culture of corruption.
But that’s why true hope is grounded in something so much more. It’s grounded in Jesus. As dark and desolate of a place as Haiti may seem to the casual observer, you can’t ignore the stories of God’s grace, shattering the cycle of hopelessness.
This week, I want to tell you those stories. The stories where hope prevails in the midst of desperation and loss, the stories of God at work where we simply following His lead. I hope you’ll be inspired by those people who are diligently serving God and shining brightly in a dark place.
Amen! Greater things are to come in Haiti! I spent a week there in 2010 and was filled with both despair and hope when I left…as you said, Jesus is at work there, mightily, and we saw it first hand. Looking forward to this series!
I have only been here 15months but I have been surprised at
the Haitians good nature and humor maybe we laugh so we won`t cry? bro. george PAP
George, I have to agree with you. The Haitians are amazingly resilient people and seem determined in the midst of despair.