Today my husband Loren is going to be writing a post! The last week of February he went to Haiti and I thought it would be fun for him to share his experience!
During the last week of February 2014, I had the privilege of going on a work trip to Les Cayes Haiti. I was not fully prepared for the many experiences that I would take part in. Now I have been to other poverty stricken areas, like Juarez Mexico, but I had never witnessed such poverty like I saw in Haiti. We flew into Port a Prince early on a Saturday morning. The airport was completely jam packed. Now when you fly into an international airport, you kind of expect a certain things. The airport was not as I would have expected, but it was not bad at all. One of the first things I noticed was a Haitian band playing music in the terminal as we arrived. I was amazed at how happy many of the people seemed to be to see Americans in their country. The mission that we were down there to help sent a driver and a bus to pick us up from the airport. The drive through port a prince is simply undesirable. It is something that you have to experience for yourself to fully understand. There is one rule in Haiti when driving, and that is that the bigger vehicle wins. You simply honk your horn and go around the person in front of you. It was a short 4 hour trip to Les Cayes. When we arrived the missionaries decided to take us around Les Cayes and the surrounding area, to help us get a feel for what Haiti is. We visited some old french ruins and we stopped and visited some families in the country. The poverty that these people live in is simply mind blowing. I cannot do it justice with words. It seemed through, that no matter how poor these people were, that they were very content with what they had. I made the remark to one of the other guys that I saw more smiles from those people in one week than I have in one year in the U.S. We attended church on Sunday with the Haitian people. Even though there was a language barrier, we could feel the love and happiness. It is hard to sit and write and try to tell you what it was like. It is something that has to be experienced to fully understand it. It makes you stop and think about how much we have and how little they have. They seemed so content. Im not saying that they weren’t trying to provide for their families, but they weren’t trying to out do their neighbor. They weren’t in such a hurry to do something that they were rude to everyone they came in contact with. They werent caught up in the materialistic world that we live in. Im not trying to make Haiti sound glamorous by any means. They have their own struggles, we all do. It was so beneficial though, for me to look at things in a different light. It helped me realize that physical possessions and large banks accounts cannot bring about contentment. It made me be more thankful for all things I have, and for the land I live in. The reason we were in Haiti was to help establish an automotive repair shop. We helped organize the shop and train the technician, Timothy. We had a wonderful time in Les Cayes and learned many new things. It touches you in places, in your heart, that have never been touched before. It makes you stop and wonder, if I had been born in the same situation, would I have the same attitude that they have. Would I have that same joy or would I be having a pity party for myself? It makes me think of the saying in the Bible “unto whom much is given, of him much shall be required” We live in a land filled with abundance. We have pantries overflowing with food. We have large bank accounts and so many resources. So much has been given to us, yet we seem to be so uncontent. There is a constant striving for more and more. The more we acquire the more we desire. Why do we keep trying to build the largest burn pile? We know that in the end we cannot take these thing with us. Lets use the blessings we are given to the benefit of those who have so very little. We were given so much more than most humans on this earth, let us not take this for granted.
A few Haitian homes:
The Haitian marketplace:
Some boys helping their mom with lunch….rice.
A Haitian school.
Playing soccer with some of the Haitian boys
A very poor area in Welsh.
The Cancer Redemption houses for orphans. To learn more about the Cancer Redemption Project go here.