(this is from my experiences on Friday, the first day I arrived in Haiti. Tomorrow morning I will share my post from my trek from Port au Prince to Torbeck, Haiti. I would have shared that tonight, but due to travel time and internet my posting is just a bit behind. The pictures are stunning. The people? Even more. Tomorrow morning we go to a local church and will be with them and then we will spend the afternoon in ministry projects. My heart is full. Let me change that. My heart is beyond full.)
Let me tell you a story of giving. And gratitude. And seeing the little things. And seeing the right things. The beautiful things.
Let me tell you about real.
It was mid afternoon, as the Haitian sun beat down on us, and we, the fabulous staff from Praying Pelican Missions (who I love, love, love) were driving in our car down a street in Port au Prince crowded with people. And I’m not talking about crowded like our American traffic. I’m talking about the sidewalks full, cars making their own rules, tap taps racing about, bikes zipping by, and people stopping traffic with their hands type of full. I’m talking about people everywhere – on the steps, in the windows, in front of their goods they were selling – kind of busy.
But, that’s not the story.
And it’s not about the poverty. Even though there is more poverty here then I’ve ever seen before. It’s hard to articulate, to grasp, and to comprehend.
But, think of this – I saw no one complaining. Although, lol, I couldn’t understand anything. I saw people working. Smiling. Moving. Doing. They were happy. My brain needed to shift from seeing the poverty to seeing the beauty of the people. And the Haitian people are simply beautiful.
Giving. Loving. Grateful.
But the story? This is the story we all must hear.
I saw a man, a man who must not have been more than 25, sprawled in the middle of the sidewalk starving. His body was thinner than I imagine a man’s body should ever be and his eyes were hollow. In fact, the more that I think about it, his eyes were the eyes of one in pain.
He lay there, in the sidewalk with people everywhere holding a beat up faded blue baseball hat.
But this is what astounds me.
In that minute or so observing this man on the streets in the middle of Port au Prince, Haiti, I saw person after person after person stop and place money in his hat. Several men, a woman, and child. All stopped, smiled, and gave. All Haitians.
There was no judging, no wondering why he’s in the middle of the street, no looking at their own money and counting – there was simply giving. Of money to a man who was dying in the middle of the Haitian streets. To a man that was in need even though there is so much need.
It was an unbelievable amount of giving in an unbelievably poverty stricken area.
And it hit me in my heart.
How many times do I overlook those in need? How many times do I think not today, but maybe tomorrow? How many times do I complain about little inconsequential things that really don’t make a difference?
A man, in the street, needed help. And those who had little gave much.
I already wrestle with going back to a culture where I didn’t see. I didn’t see the comfortable in which I live.
I am starting to see.
I am starting to see love.
And it is in the beautiful streets of Haiti.
Please consider sharing these posts – they are posts about the real, authentic beauty of Haiti. I would be so blessed. ~Rachel
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