Have you ever felt fatigued? The easy example is during exercise. Like this morning, I went on what I thought was a 3.5 mile run and I paced myself for such. When I got to the 3.5 mile mark, I was completely fatigued (muscles, breathing, etc.) but it turns out the course was actually 4.5 miles long so I was about a mile away from my house.
You can experience mental fatigue either from a lack of sleep or some type of mental exertion that you are not used to. You can experience physical fatigue from that same lack of sleep or from performing a physical exertion that your body is not used to.
At All Things New, we are hoping that you are not experiencing what other missionaries and foreign workers in Haiti have termed "Haiti Fatigue." This is a term that describes what can happen to people who invest emotionally, financially, mentally, and physically in a country that does not seem to ever change.
For those of you who have been with us since ATN started in 2013, the earthquake in August must have brought you back to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti that resulted in many people lending aid to Haiti. While we started a couple of years later, our start was directly connected to that event.
You have heard us talk about how difficult life is there, how few opportunities there are for meaningful employment, how many people struggle to eat, how few kids graduate high school, how there is no trash disposal, that only a few people have electricity, and how things just seem to stay as they are.
If I can be honest, even though I am probably not supposed to say this, it is really frustrating and discouraging.
When Jessica and I made the decision to move to Haiti and to start All Things New, I knew 1 thing with 100% confidence...This would not be a half-hearted move. We would not have one foot in Haiti and one foot in America.
I knew with confidence then and even more confidence now, that this would be a lifelong commitment. How could it not be? How could we come to a group of kids and tell them, "We will take care of you for a few years, but after that, you are on your own."
I am not saying that we are looking for lifelong sponsors...We are most definitely not and we are in the process of recasting our vision for the future of ATN as our kids continue to get older.
The point of this blog is for me to plead with you to not experience "Haiti Fatigue." Stay with us a little longer! One of the great things about All Things New is that we know most of our supporters and we love you.
Here are some things that have made it hard lately:
- We have not taken a team since Feb. 2019.
- The pandemic made it hard for us to plan our normal in-person events.
- Continued natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes just keep hitting Haiti.
- The political and social atmosphere of the country is as bad as it has ever been.
- Their President was assassinated and threw the country into even greater uncertainty and chaos.
Even with all of these things, here is the one thing we know about ourselves and that we believe about you as well:
We love our Kids!
We love Tony for his sense of humor and huge heart. We love Woodly because he has had at least 25 business ideas in the past 3 years. We love Herbison because he has immense potential and a quiet confidence that someone in his position usually would not have. We love Son Son for his intelligence and thoughtfulness. We love Zalex for his heart for Jesus. (I will keep this list going in the next blog)
We love Dada because she is fiercely loyal, loving, and talented. We love Misthafa because she has more capacity to love others than anyone in her position should have. We love BiGuedy for her passion about everything. We love Dinna because she is so strong-willed and principled. We love Hiwerli because she is exactly who she says she is. We love Malayika because she is so smart and so loving to the people she cares about. (I will keep this list going in the next blog)
Haiti Fatigue would be easy to get and easy to understand. It is a hard place to work and do business. My request for you, and something that I have to remind myself of, is that All Things New is not just about being in Haiti.
It is simple...I love these kids. No matter where they might live or how difficult things might be, I want to do whatever I can to make sure they have a future. To make sure they become the men and women GOD has called them to be. Fatigue is easy to stave off if we remember why we do what we do, and that reason has been, is, and always will be our kids.