Resiliency is one of those words that, while it is a positive descriptive word for a person, it is an adjective gained through overcoming difficult circumstances. In fact, a good definition of the word is, "the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties." If you have ever heard someone say, "Don't pray for patience because GOD just might give it to you" then you know what I am talking about. There are some words that we believe to be positive, but we really want them to be used to describe other people.
I bring this up because the word "resilient" is used to describe Haitians all of the time and with good reason. Just in the past 10 years, they have suffered through an earthquake that killed more than 250,000 people, a category 4 hurricane made landfall about 25 miles west of All Things New killing thousands, crippling social and political unrest has taken the country captive for almost 3 years, and now the assassination of a sitting President in his own bedroom.
Are Haitians resilient? Yes. It is still a beautiful country filled with great and Godly people who love Jesus even after all of the difficult they have faced. Is resiliency a good thing? Absolutely. When negative things happen, the way you conduct yourself through the pain and difficulties says a lot about who you are. Do you want the primary descriptive word that people associate with you to be "resilient?" Probably not because it denotes a person or a people who have had to endure more than most.
My question is when does Haiti get to be something other than resilient? When does it get to be beautiful like their neighbors in the DR? When can Haiti be described as powerful like their close allies in America? When does Haiti get to be described as "refined and cultured" like the French, overly nice like their Canadian friends, or a soccer powerhouse like Brazil? When will the outside world not see Haiti as "the poorest country in the western hemisphere" and instead focus on the success of a country that is free despite all odds?
When a basketball player is described as "hard working" you can assume they will not be in the NBA much longer. When a person is described as "persistent" you can almost guarantee that they are not as skilled as their competition. When Winn Dixie changed their slogan to "Getting Better All The Time" it was clear that they were not the best grocery store chain in the world at that time.
The way that you describe yourself and the way that other people describe you says a lot about who you are. I really do not want our kids to think of their home country as "resilient" above all things. They know the way that people talk about Haiti. They see their prospects for work and they understand that their future is very uncertain simply because of where they were born.
It has been a while since we have been able to get down to see the kids, and this blog is rooted firmly in that reality. Sitting here and thinking about our kids and how we wish we could be there with them as they prepare for school and life is a difficult thing. There are so many things we want to talk with them about and teach them and show them, but here we are.
Here are just some simple things that we cannot do because of what is happening right now:
- Bring teams down. I know that there are many of you who cannot wait for the chance to get back down.
- We have incredible soccer balls and supplies sitting in storage that our kids cannot wait to start to use (thanks Zach Sievert and the rest of the club!)
- We cannot even collect school supplies and backpacks to send down this year because we cannot get down to give them to the kids. (Soon we will be asking for donations to cover these expenses, so be on the lookout)
Please pray that in the midst of all of this uncertainty, peace and consistency come. Pray that Haiti is changed by a new, hopefully soon-elected, President and new leadership for the nation. Pray that we could get down soon and that we could get supplies and a team down as well. Mainly just pray for GOD's will in the nation, in the ministry of All Things New, and in the lives of our kids and employees.