One of our primary goals this first year in Haiti is to gain knowlege and understanding about the Haitian people, their language, their culture, their needs (which are usually obvious), and how God would have us serve/meet those needs. One way we have done this is to spend time seeking wisdom from those who have come before us and explore and engage the surrounding organizations that are doing their best to serve here. We have been blessed to have gained insight from many new friends serving at nearby ministries and we appreciate each and every opportunity to learn from them and serve alongside them. One thing we have learned is that everyone is connected here in Haiti. We already feel very connected to these new friends and the ministries God has given them and we want to share them with you! Life has been happening at such a rapid pace lately that we haven’t had the chance to do so on the blog, but hope to catch everyone up soon!
We feel like we’ve already seen a lot of different sides/viewpoints of Haiti. We work/live at a school so we engage teachers, students and parents on a daily basis. We work with international students (and that’s us too) so we understand things from that end. We’ve spent time at orphanages, churches, women’s organizations, employment programs, feeding programs, medical clinics, other school programs, with missionaries like us, with the poorest of the poor, and with some of the richest people in Haiti. And we are learning so much.
A few days ago we were talking with one of our new Haitian friends that fits into the upper class category. He was educating us on the history of Haiti and how things got so bad for the poorest of the poor. He has at one time employed over 15,000 Haitians (which is no longer possible because the production which brings this job opporunity no longer exist in Haiti). He shook his head when we asked him questions as to how things can change for the better. He said that “change will not happen”. We then asked how anyone could make a difference? He said, “I believe you are already doing your fair share of that” (as he nodded toward our two Haitian girls) and then added that “the future lies in the next generation…and you are educating them to be different”. His son is in Eric’s Bible class at Quisqueya Christian School.
We, being fresh on the scene and not having experienced an ounce of what our friend has, are perhaps still more optimistic that anything is possible. We do hope and pray for change. We pray that we can truly make a difference. We pray that our girls and the students that we teach will make a positive difference…that together that difference will one day bring change for a better Haiti. But it is easy to feel in the great scheme of things…when we walk down the street piled with rotting trash, piled with the faces of poverty…a sense of hopelessness…like making a difference is certainly beyond us. And that is why stories like the birth of TeacHaiti are so meaningful to us. We will soon share this story and others and you too will be reminded that just one person, one family that reaches out to even one person can make a difference…for one more person, for one more family, for a community, for a country, for the world. So as long as there are stories like the one we will tell next, we will keep on being optimistic that anything is possible. And we know that it is possible because we know the One who defied the impossible and made a difference for us all. We love it that He loved to tell stories about the power of one making a difference…the power of one person who decided to care, who obeyed, who left their comfort zone, who struggled, who tried, who felt defeated at times. We know that He calls us to follow Him in all these things.
And we know that in the end He wins.