I am still so shocked by the level of poverty in Haiti. Yesterday, I brought my Haitian friend to our container where we have some donated things. This is the guy who has a decent job (orphanage director) and lives in a 2 room home that doesn’t even have beds for his children. This guy loves Jesus and wants to be a pastor. We talk about the Lord all the time. He is my brother and he was in need. So, once again I am reminded of the book of James where it talks about what we should do if we see a brother in need. So, I hooked him up big time. I gave him 2 good pairs of shoes (Kenneth Cole and Dockers). I gave him a 50 pound bag of rice so that he could feed his family for a while (thanks Kristi and Joe). I gave him several pairs of shoes for his children. I gave him some clothes. I gave him a big bag of beans. And I gave him a pillow for his sister’s neice who lives with them and sleeps on the floor. A few days before, we had given him an air mattress and bedding so that his children could have a place to sleep. I also gave him $25 since I found out that his 2 week vacation that he was currently on was without pay.
After hooking him up, I went to his house to just spend some time in his world. He gave me the tour of the whole house (all 2 rooms) He showed me where he bathes every day (a big metal pan that he fills with water). He showed me where his wife cooks (a tiny corner with a pot on top of charcoal). He showed me where they use the toilet (I won’t go there). He showed me where his kids were sleeping until we gave him the air mattress (on the concrete floor…every day of their lives). He told me about how it has taken him 10 years to build his home. And then he shared with me his hope of one day having a bigger home. But he also shared with me his greater hope of his eternal home that awaits him in heaven. Man, if I had $15,000 I would buy this guy a bigger home in a second. They were so thankful though for the things that we were able to give them. And this guy never once asked me for anything. He is a humble man who trusts in the Lord. We shared together about the verse in Mat. 6:33 that says, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all else will be added unto you.”
Then today, we went to Epidor (the closest thing to a fast food restaurant). Maria and the girls thought their food was nasty and they couldn’t even eat it. She was about to throw it away, but I stopped her and said that somebody will definitely want that. After seeing locals in the village digging through our trash everyday, I knew that some person would want this food that we so often easily throw away. So, on our way home from Port au Prince, as usual, street kids come up and try to wipe off our car in hopes of a few coins. I asked this one kid if he was hungry, to which he of course replied yes. So, I handed him the big plate of food that was almost discarded. He took it and a huge smile lit up his face. I looked in the rearview mirror as I was driving away and I saw him wave his arms in the air and jump up and down for joy. He then motioned to his other street friend who I was approaching yelling for him to come down. His friend was kind of ignoring his request until I drove by and simply said, “Anpil manje pou ou se la ba” which means, “Lots of food for you down there.” As soon as he heard that, I saw him make a sprint towards his friend who was doing the victory dance.
Yes, the garbage that we often throw away without thought is the answered prayer of many a Haitian.