And Jesus spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
I am frequently presented with the question “Why Haiti? Why not America?” or the statement “I only support American projects.” I would like to reply to this today. This is “My why.”
First, read the opening scripture again. This is directly from the mouth of our Savior, Jesus. With ALL authority he commands us to GO to ALL nations. That is really the only reply right? Some still don’t understand or refuse to be supportive of my love for Haiti. (although I feel the need to point out that 7:10 does help widows that are local to us, but spotlights are not put on this) When God placed it on my heart to serve in Haiti I was blindsided. If you know me at all you know that in the not so distant past I was the biggest germaphobe you would have ever met. I went through 13 years in the public school system and can count on 1 hand the number of times I went into a girls bathroom to actually use the bathroom. Bugs? NO WAY… especially things like lice, and scabies, and worms…. not to mention GIANT spiders. Then there was the problem of things like power, running water, oh and air conditioning….. No one could have predicted my love for serving in Haiti. What do you do when you are called by God? You listen, and obey. He does the rest. He changed my heart and took away my fears. I kiss children with typhoid and play with those with head lice. I take cold showers and sweat immediately after exiting the shower. I eat goat, and actually like it. Only one thing could make these things happen and that is God.
God doesn’t call everyone to Haiti. In fact he calls people to put themselves in real danger in countries like Syria and China, where christians are martyred. He calls people to serve in Africa and in Sweden. Guess what? He even calls people to serve in their very own home of America. Yes. Again, scroll to the top and read about the great commission again. As long as you are going, or sending, you are answering the command that God has given us all.
Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his deed.
Now for the secular reasons I am called to serve in Haiti.
Welfare. Don’t have a job? Can’t find a job? Have no money? You can walk into a local social services office and apply for welfare. This is money you can use for whatever you want. Food, clothes, rent, even beer if you want. There is no welfare in Haiti. Along with an unemployment rate near 90%.
Rent Assistance. I wonder how many of the readers of this blog realize that I at one time in my life was on rent assistance. My son had some serious medical needs and I was unable to work, I was able to qualify for part of my rent to be paid every month by my county. There is no rent assistance in Haiti.
Food Stamps. Yes, when I was a single mother and not working, I also qualified for the ridiculous amount of $700. a month for groceries for my family of 4. Again, apply and qualify, and your family doesn’t starve.
Food Shelves. Can not qualify for food stamps because you are just down on your luck for a short time, and need a little help getting through the week or the month? Most communities have food shelves. Haiti, no food shelves.
Unemployment Offices. Unemployed? No problem. If you have been employed in the past and do not have a job currently due to circumstances not caused by yourself, you can qualify for unemployment checks each week until you are able to find another job. Can’t find another job, these offices provide services to help you find one. There are not unemployment agencies in Haiti.
Functioning Government. Ok, I know it is a stretch most days to say that we have a functioning government, but really in comparison, we do. We have accountability checks and a justice system that gives us executive, judicial, and legislative branches. In Haiti you just might sit in a prison in a cell with 50 others for years without ever being charged with a crime.
Child Protection Services. This is HUGE to me. And I know you can all tell me a horror story of when and where our CPS services have failed someone. And believe me when I tell you that these stories break my heart, thinking that they can even happen here in our country… But I can tell you more than 1, more than 10, more than 100 times that children have been failed in Haiti. Raped and bearing their fathers children and NOTHING that can be done about it. These children are slaves more than you can begin to imagine. Orphans are not always in managed and controlled orphanages, starving and sick.
Law Enforcement. Men and women that sign an oath to protect and serve. To put their lives on the line to protect the children from the monsters of the world, keep and maintain peace. Haiti, we get stopped by the police and the ticket depends on how much you can pay for a bribe.
Health Care. Yes, ours is expensive for some but it is always available to all. You can walk into any hospital and expect care. It will be sterile, educated, care. You will be served while in the care of the doctors and nurses. Your broken arm will be re set and casted even if you can’t pay for it at that moment and your lab work can generally be done at the same facility and the doctors have access to oxygen when you need it. In Haiti, none of the above.
Armed Forces. Thank you to all that protect and serve our country. Your service is appreciated. Currently there is no active governed armed forces in Haiti.
There are other reasons. Personal reasons:
For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
What is your Why?