Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mission to Haiti, an epilogue

"The opposite of poverty is not wealth
the opposite of poverty is enough."  

Wess Stafford, Founder and President of Compassion International

What did I learn from the one, short week that I spent in Haiti?  
  • I got just a glimpse, a taste of what life looks like in the poorest country in the western hemisphere and, in doing so, better understand the significance of the Wess Stafford quote about poverty that you see at the beginning of this post.
  • I looked into the eyes of people who routinely eat only one modest meal a day and into the eyes of people who had not eaten in several days and yet still had hope.
  • I began to understand that the basis for that poverty is primarily spiritual, as 75% of the Haitian population practice Vodoo.   Although financial assistance is needed, money alone will never fix the root of their problems.
  • I saw the remarkable difference between kids living in dire poverty and those that are loved and cared for in the same city in a place like Grace Mission's orphanage. 
  • I witnessed both the desperation and the hope of a mother who walked many miles with her small children to the mission when she heard that there might be help available for her sick, malnourished youngest child.
  • I was reminded that loving, caring Christians serving others can make a difference as I witnessed our medical and nursing professionals and college students minister to these people.  
  • My appreciation for those that answer the call to full-time service was renewed.  These are ordinary people that God uses to do extraordinary things.
  •  I learned that my skill set and abilities, while not particularly well-suited to medical missions, can be put to use in serving the "least of these" and that God has called me to tell their story. 

What did you learn from reading this story of Haiti?  More importantly, how will you respond?