The first year I went to Haiti was eye-opening. I knew that Haiti was a poor country but I saw that they were poorer than I could have ever imagined. They live with so very little; not enough food, very little clean water, minimal access to electricity, prices extremely high, and a high rate of unemployment. (It has been even more devastating in the last few years.) It breaks my heart to know of the hardships they live with every day. I came home with a changed heart after my first visit to Haiti. I knew I had an excess of stuff that I didn’t need. I started cleaning out closets and giving things away. I shopped less and decided I didn’t need the latest and best things the world has to offer. Truthfully, I still have more than I need but I have made progress in minimizing my needs.
I worked in several different areas on my trips to Haiti and have many special memories. One of my favorite memories was when I was helping with a sewing class. I had helped a woman named Sabine with her sewing and she tried to teach me a Haitian song that day. She faired much better with her sewing than I did with the song. After class she expressed her desire to accept Jesus as her Lord and Savior. It was a day to celebrate!
I met and worked with many great people in Haiti. One year I stained boards all week long with Wilma, Markeson, Bertholin. They were young men who worked whenever there was work to be done. I always looked forward to seeing them each year. Wilma and Markeson have both moved to Chili and I saw Bertholin teaching in the church. That gave my heart such joy! I met a lot of translators over the years too. We could not have functioned without them. They were very patient and helped us whenever we needed them.
During my first year in Haiti, I signed up to sponsor a child named Jorgens. He was a first grader and very shy. He went to school in Chardene and was the youngest of four children. I talked with Jorgens on every trip. He was always glad to see me and drew pictures and wrote letters to me throughout the school year. He didn’t speak English so we talked through a translator. He didn’t register for school in 2020 so I have lost contact with him. I am so disappointed but I have a new sponsored child that my husband and I support. I am glad to be able to provide in some little way for them.
In 2015, my team and I watched two men digging a well for the MPCA school. One man climbed down a hole with a bucket on a rope. He dug in the dirt, filled the bucket with dirt, and the other man pulled it up, and dumped the dirt into a wheelbarrow to be carried away later. They made this exchange over and over and over all day long. (Probably took them months to hit water.) They estimated the hole to be 50 to 60 feet deep when we saw them working. The next year it was completely finished with a pump attached. It was amazing! The Haitians are very resourceful (without many resources) and use what they have to improvise or configure what they needed.
I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing praises to you among the nations.
For your steadfast love is great to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!