Today was a day filled with sweat and hard-work. As opposed to some of the other days where we have relationship-time mixed in, today was spent entirely at the project site painting , painting, and more painting! I was encouraged to see the whole team work together as a single unit, offering up words of encouragement to one-another, and making sure the needs of others were being met before themselves. With a little relational-time mixed in, we ended up painting the soon-to-be computer room, kitchen, and a part of the outside wall. All in all, a very productive day!
Growing up in the church, I have participated in numerous ‘mission trips’: Venezula (2x), Montreal, West Virginia (5x), Amsterdam (3x). My faith has grow as a result of each trip along with a desire to make God’s name more famous among all people. Each one was unique and special, full of memorable experiences with different types of team members.
…but nothing like Haiti.
I have never been to a ‘developing nation’ before. Being here has opened my eyes to a poverty and need not seen anywhere before. To be honest, I’ve seen panhandlers going to a Braves baseball game, interacted with poor communities in Venezuelan mountain-towns, and done roof-work and light-construction on houses in rural West Virginia. But these people still had running water, access to some food, or the ability to ‘ask’ from people who have more than them. No doubt, these other trips provided eye-opening experiences…
…but nothing like Haiti.
In Haiti, nearly everyone does not have. Most need basic shelter, food and clothing. If you had to live in a tent full-time in 90 degree weather with the risk of catching Malaria… yeah, you’d have a renewed perspective also. As everyone knows, this small Caribbean country was ravished by a massive earthquake a little over 2 years ago. For something of this magnitude to happen to the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, infrastructure was devastated. The death toll was uncountable and the amount of relief needed insurmountable. If not broken already, the country was fractured and in need of restoration.
Two years later now, progress has been made. The amount of ‘tent cities‘ has decreased. Relief came and hope restored.
For me, as I think about these thoughts thus far in Haiti, I am reminded that, as humans, we are all broken. Because of sin, a chasm has been formed between ourselves and God. But through the work of Christ, we have opportunity for restoration. Like the country of Haiti, we don’t have to be immobilized by earthquakes and ‘disasters’ in our own lives. We can be assured that Hope has come and is restoring each and every day.