The Country I Love
Last Thursday I packed up my 11 month old and my 2 year old and put them on a plane to spend the next month of their lives in a 3rd world country. This is not easy on so many levels but I do it because I love Haiti, I love the people here, and I love our kids here more than I can put into words. We didn’t have internet until Friday around noon and the minute we go onto any type of social media we were bombarded with words and feelings that had been expressed about this country I had just worked so hard to get to. It took us a few days (with extremely slow internet) to really understand what had been said. Matt immediately wanted to write a blog on perspective (which he did and you can read here) and all I could think about is what a beautiful place this is. So let me share with you why Haiti is a beautiful place.
I woke up Sunday morning, got Sophie and Elijah ready for church and then went to worship alongside Haitians as they poured their heart out to the Lord. Many of them probably can’t find jobs and many of them may not have known where their next meal was coming from but they got up and went to church and worshipped with everything they have in them. Haitians have a faith like no one else I’ve seen.
We went for a walk this evening with the kids. I watched as Malayika tried for the 5th time to hold Sophie’s hand (Sophie isn’t a big hand holder) and Mvinsley ran down the road and Somara “helped” push the stroller. There were mountains in the background, a baby cow close by, and every person we passed said “Good Evening”. Haitians are the friendliest people I have ever been around.
There have been many nights in my home here doing service with the kids. I watch as they close their eyes and worship. We have prayed for people hurting and sick or in danger. I look around at these kids who have every reason in the world to be angry at God. They’ve all been abandoned and many have been abused. They’ve had days when they didn’t know when they would eat again. Many have watched from inside the gates of an orphanage as their parents walked away. I fear we don’t know half of what they’ve been through. Haitians are tough people and my kids here are the toughest.
I know many people here who have lost loved ones, jobs, homes, and more. They never give up. I cannot tell you how many people say something as simple as “God knows what we need” or “God will take care of us”. Haitians are resilient.
One of the best memories of my life was an August evening when the kids were living at Hope Rising. In the summer on Friday and Saturday evenings we get the kids “Pate”. Think of it like a giant Haitian version of an eggroll. It’s delicious and terrible for you and one of our kids most favorite things in the world. This was before Sophie was born and it was just Matt and me and the kids. We sat on the porch on that Friday evening, eating our Pate. There was a beautiful breeze and there were mountains in the background. As each kid finished their Pate they ran to play different games and I remember thinking this is one of the happiest moments of my life.
It’s a moment I go back to a lot here. Make no mistake, life is hard here. There are many times I need to be reminded of the beauty of Haiti and when I do I think about that summer evening. There are so many things lacking in this place that would make life much much easier but those aren’t the things that make Haiti beautiful. It’s the people. It’s these faith-filled, friendly, resilient people. Haiti is these kids who just keep on keeping on. Haiti is these employees who love our kids like they deserve to be loved. Don’t believe what you read or hear. Haiti is beautiful.