The Mountains Beyond Mountains of Haiti

The more my wife and I prepare ourselves to move to Haiti,  learn about Haiti through our own experiences there, other missionaries that we know there, books we read, blogs we surf, and articles we come across, the more I begin to understand the Haitian proverb that states, “Dye mon, gen mon”, which translated means “Beyond mountains, there are mountains.”  This quote has become famous since it is the title of the best selling book by Tracy Kidder “Mountains Beyond Mountains” (a great book to read, by the way) which details the amazing life of Dr. Paul Farmer, who has dedicated most of his life to working in medicine in one of the poorest parts of Haiti.
The proverb is actually used in both a positive and negative manner.  For instance, it could be used to describe the number of opportunities that there are for a specific situation.  but more often, it is used to describe the frustration one feels when they get over one problem only to get a view of several more problems facing them.

The more I get involved with Haiti, the more mountains I see and sometimes it can be rather overwhelming.  I might start out searching for some information about orphaned children in Haiti, and next thing I know I am engrossed (and grossed) by the information that discusses all the child slavery that still exists in Haiti today.  There are almost 500,000 child slaves in this tiny little country that is no bigger than the state of Maryland.  This blows my mind away…and soon my thoughts that were once focused on the orphaned children (there are about 1 million orphaned children in Haiti today) are now set on the whole problem of child slaves. (restaveks)  And then as I start thinking through and researching more about the restaveks, I get led to information that details the horrible plight of lack of education, or lack of healthcare.  You see…mountains beyond mountains.  The country lives up to that proverb physically as the terrain is truly mountains beyond mountains (beautiful) and metaphorically as there are so many problems on top of so many other problems (ugly)

This leads to my post here.  I got these links from another missionary’s blog called The Livesay Haiti Weblog (very cool blog, by the way).  Anyway, I want to give an example of the different mountains that the Haitian people face on a daily basis.  We will be focusing on the mountains that deal mainly with orphaned children and poor children, but there are so many other mountains that need to be addressed, and this one deals with pregnant women who are at great risk of death because they are delivering their babies without professional medical staff and without the proper needed facilities and equipment.

Please read this article first that gives horrifying statistics that will make your stomach hurt, and then click on these pictures here and see exactly what really goes on in the poorest country in the western hemisphere (which is only a few hundred miles away from one of the richest nations of the world. Then, after you have regained your composure (and hopefully you don’t fully regain it), please pray.  Pray that the Lord will raise up more people that will give up the comforts of America to spend their lives making a difference in the lives of many Haitian women and children. Pray that people that have been blessed by God would use those resources to be a blessing to others who are in such great need.  And in all of this we shall see our great God glorified above all.

He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD,
and he will reward him for what he has done.–Proverbs 19:17

I can’t wait to get to Haiti…