So, I went to Haiti this past February after the Holy Spirit had been tugging on my heart toward missions for about two years. Although I was only there for four days, Jesus used each hour in Haiti to reveal more of himself to me despite my North American blind spots.
For those of you who have not been to Haiti or another third world country, the experience can almost seem like it occurred within a parallel universe leaving one with mixed emotions wondering how first and third world countries can coexist. Indeed, watching the news reports of physical devastation of all measures across the globe touches the bystander’s soul but even more so walking side by side with those whom the devastation has scarred.
From my finite perspective, the state of Haiti seems impossible on several levels. Of course, life is more than the material, but the scarcity of basic living necessities creates a depressing sight. Crowded living spaces compiled of random sheets of tin and plastic tarp laced with wire on top of a dirt floor surrounded by a fence formed by cacti are more common than not.
With no organized system of trash disposal, wrappers and styrofoam line the streets and are blown into the countryside but at least there are random, skinny goats that rummage through the garbage.
These overwhelming views naturally cause one to question why the six years of world aid following the terror-filled earthquake lack more visible improvements. However, with only less than 5% of the Haitian population employed, the change obviously will not happen overnight.
Amidst the grim conditions, the people of Haiti are very resourceful. People find ways to survive whether through selling items at the opportune moment by the roadside or through pure innovation to make the most of every little bit they have.
God could have placed me on this earth as a Haitian. I am no better than the Haitian girl walking down the dirt road with flip-flops four sizes too small with a 5 gallon bucket of water balanced on her head.
The trip to Haiti left me with more questions than answers. There is no easy humanitarian solution to improve this country. God calls us to be his hands and feet in this suffering world which is impossible without His supernatural power. Especially after this trip, Jesus showed me in a new light how small I am in this world and how He is the only source of hope for each person regardless of where they dwell on this planet.