We just got back to the states a couple of days ago, and there is so much going on. We have a lot of updates and a lot of things to talk about in regards to our recent trip, but I wanted to put up a blog about something that we ran into the last few weeks we were in Haiti before I forgot that I wanted to write it. So here it is.
Desperation is a very difficult topic to write about. It definitely yields itself to a negative connotation in many ways, but desperation is something that is difficult for us to understand. When was the last time that you were in a truly desperate situation? I don’t mean the last time you desperately wanted a steak, or the last time you desperately wanted that person to go out on a date with you, or even the last time you desperately wanted to do something nice for your family. I mean when were you last in a truly desperate situation where if something did not happen you may lose your life or your family.
I am writing this to say that the desperation that you can run into in Haiti is different than I have ever seen in my life. There is an example that happened lately that made me see it in a different way than I ever have. A couple of friends of ours in Haiti (no names, but they are friends of ours) came to us and they were hungry. I don’t mean they hadn’t eaten since breakfast, I mean they were truly hungry. They didn’t ask for money, they didn’t ask for shelter, and they didn’t even really ask for food, they literally just said, “I’m hungry.” And it was different. There was this look in their eyes (Jess saw this first, and then I saw it on a different occasion) that showed they were truly starving. It was one of the singular experiences of my life to see this friend of mine sit at my table and eat a simple meal like it was the first and last meal that he would ever see. There is no way for me to truly describe the scene, you had to be there to see what true desperation looks like.
People have asked us questions like, “Why are you doing this in Haiti when so many children in America need our help?” They have asked this question many times, but they haven’t seen what we’ve seen. You have to see a teenager that has no job, no parents, and no way to eat to understand desperation. You have to see parents who go without food so their children can eat and are starving because of it to understand desperation. You have to see parents give their children up to an orphanage because otherwise they may starve to understand desperation.
I have learned so much being here, but one of the things that I wish I would never have to see again in my life is the desperation of a person who has not eaten for days. It has taught me to put my problems into perspective a little. You know, when I get angry because ATT doesn’t give me the deal they were supposed to, or when at Zaxby’s the other night they didn’t give me my extra sauce, or when my $20 steak isn’t cooked like I wanted it to be.
There are lessons to learn when you see desperation like this, but there is something greater as well. When you are in the presence of someone who is desperate, all you want to do is to take away their desperation. If they are hungry, feed them or if they are dying, cure them. So here is the spiritual lesson I need to take away from this (I was not planning on getting to this point when I started this blog, but GOD literally just showed me something new as I was typing). There are desperate people everywhere. People who do not know that they can been saved from their sin and they are literally dying apart from their salvation. How can we continue to let this happen? How can we be so quick to meet physical needs that we miss the larger spiritual need in each of our hearts…The need for a Savior. Let’s be encouraged today to know that we have a Savior, but let’s also be convicted today to know that there are billions of others who NEED a Savior. They are desperate for one.