Haiti is a whole other world. The word “poor” is so relative depending on where you are. I have seen poor that I just never knew existed.
Today, I went to the market (open air market) to buy fruits and vegetables for the children at the orphanage for the month. While there, my friend brought me to a place where some of the poorest people in the village live. My heart sank when I saw their living conditions.
As I run into situations like these, I am always reminded of the Book of James where it talks about it being no faith at all if we see someone in need and just wish them God’s best, but do nothing to help that need. So, as I saw these 4 families living in a concrete box with absolutely nothing, I was moved by the Spirit of God to help them. Even though we do not have a whole lot, we certainly have much more than these families, so I knew that I had to do something. They had several boxes of food that had been delivered to them by another mission, but the food was just sitting there because they had no charcoal or oil to cook the food. So, I bought them a huge bag of charcoal and told them that it was a gift from the Lord. I also told them that I would return later that day with a jug of oil for them. They were so happy.
Before going back to the place, we first had to go to our storage container to get the oil and some other things that I thought they could use. I brought our Haitian friend with us, who is always dressed so nice, seems to have a good job, and did not think would be one in such need. As I was picking out a bag of moving pads to give to these 4 familes to use as blankets (that’s how bad the situation is) it dawned on me to ask my friend if he needed some “blankets” as well. He said that they would be most helpful. I found out that he lives in a tiny 2 room house with his wife and 2 small children (3 years old and 1 year old) His children sleep on the floor because they do not have beds. So, instead of giving my friend the moving pads, we gave him a comforter, some blankets, some pillows, and an air mattress. Voila…an instant bed for his children. He was so incredibly happy. We also gave him some towels and face cloths. I told him that we will give him and his family some clothes and toys for Christmas. He was so thankful. I then found out that my friend’s “seemingly” good job that he has pays him the eqivalent of $225 per month. Poor is such a relative word.
So, once we got the oil and stuff from our container, we went back to this “home” where 4 poor families live to deliver it to them. I brought my wife andchildren so that they could see how some people live. As soon as I walked in, I was happy to see a big pot of food cooking over the open fire. I then prayed with them and told them that the Lord has heard their prayers and has taken care of them. One of the families that lives in this place is blind. They all have no beds, no furniture, nothing. The blind couple has a one month old baby. There are several other children there as well. Words cannot do justice to what this place is really like. Even pictures cannot give the real “picture” of life for many in Haiti. These people have nothing. This “home” is owned by the city of Cabaret and so they allow poor people to live there as needed. The only help that they receive is from mission organizations or individual missionaries. The “room” for each family are 4 nasty torn sheets that serve as walls. Their beds are a huge pile of dirty clothes that they lay on. There is a low lying trench that fills with water every time it rains and spills right into their “house”. It is very sad. Poor is such a relative word.
We will definitely return to this place often so that we can continue to minister to them.
In a place like this, we cannot do it on our own strength. We must rely on God at all times. The joy of the Lord is our strength.
Maria will post pictures in the next post…