Children of Haiti
Watching the heart-wrenching pictures and videos of the tragedy in Haiti, it struck me. Reporters pointed out the dire living conditions the Haitians endure following the quake. No water, no electricity, families living in camps, cooking outdoors and the dangerous environment in general. Guess what? Pretty much that describes the conditions in Haiti BEFORE the quake.
Haiti is very near to our hearts. In 2005 my husband and I witnessed Haiti first-hand—a country in chaos. We went with 28 others to meet the children we sponsor through Compassion International and help build a school at one of their new church partners. Even though we studied-up on the country and its conditions, we were not prepared for what we experienced.
Poor does not describe how the Haitian people live. Barely surviving. The people of Haiti struggle each day to provide for themselves with few ways to make a living. Safe water is scarce except from wells provided mostly by humanitarian organizations. The environment sits decimated—hillsides scrapped and stripped of all material. You would not recognize Haiti as tropical except for the sweltering heat and humidity.
Though the Haitians live in very horrible conditions, they are
a resilient, kind and hard working people. We heard no complaints from them about their conditions. The children shined with an infectious joy and the adults showed a genuine gratefulness, so sweet to experience. Visiting a Haitian home in the small town where we served, we felt honored as the man of the home cut up coconuts and offered them to us. The family's home consisted of a single 9x9 space with outside kitchen similar to the one in the picture.
As the eyes of the world watch Haiti and contributions pour in to help the Haitians, possibly a brighter future awaits these beautiful people. With strict oversight and help from other countries, the government can rebuild a Haiti that could one day flourish.
Ke Bondje beni Haiti (God bless Haiti)