Sunday, January 3, 2016

Why Haiti?

Months of preparation and planning are now behind us.  Everyone has sacrificed in preparation for our upcoming mission trip to Haiti .  Donations have been collected, schedules have been cleared, vacations have been taken and yet, why do we go to Haiti?

What is it about Haiti that pulls me back?  In a week, I leave on another trip to this country  I had previously only read about.  I go to help and to try to make a difference in someone's life, if only for a little while.  But why Haiti?  Aren't there plenty of other countries/cultures just as poor, just as destitute?  Wouldn't the gratification of helping be just as great somewhere else?  Yes and No.

All one has to do is look beneath the surface to see the incredible need of an impoverished people.  In many countries worldwide, all need help and most would welcome it.  Whole lives have been devoted to service to these peoples and their lives have been richer because of their selfless devotion.  So why go to Haiti?  Why go back to Haiti?

I don't have a good answer.  I believe I never chose Haiti, Haiti was chosen for me.  If it were left to me, I probably would have chosen Guatemala, Nicaragua or some other Central American impoverished area where at least I could attempt to speak their language--- Creole seems almost impossible for me to learn.  How can you help if you can't communicate?  Yet Haiti has shown me that a smile, touch and a hug bridges more peoples than words.  If I can do nothing more than hold a sick child, I feel bonded.

While destitute, with their infrastructure in shambles and garbage in the streets, the beauty of Haiti is in their people.  Their faith, their indestructible spirit, their sense of community, their friendly open hearts draws me back.  I hear their voices and I see their faces everyday.  I feel their hugs even when I'm home and I know that they've become a part of me.

Why do I go back?---- because there is a friend who needs help.  How can I do otherwise?

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