Debbie Lynne here today. Thank you for stopping by The Sword and Spirit. Today is about the people of Haiti. I'm trying to accomplish two things with today's post, one is to raise money to help raise funds for the many needs of the Haitian people. The second reason I'm writing this post is to find a church willing to come alongside of a new church plant in the mountains of Haiti.
More on how you can help at the end.
I recently took a trip to Haiti. Our pastor grew up in Haiti as a mission kid. His parents attend our church and are active with our youth. So for the past 8 years I've heard about Haiti. I've heard stories of what it was like living there, stories of the poverty, the lack of medical intervention, the lack of food. I've seen pictures from previous mission trips. Pictures of what they call home...shacks with metal roofs, dirt floors, a piece of fabric to cover the missing wall. But no matter how many times I heard about it or saw the pictures could prepare me for seeing it first hand.
We landed in Port-au-Prince and loaded up into a dump truck and a rough van. We pulled out of the airport and started making our way toward our destination--the mountains of Haiti.
But to get there we had to leave the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area and the two million six hundred thousand people that live there. As we drove through (and I do mean through) the crowds of people, I couldn't stop the tears from falling.
I looked into the hopeless, empty eyes of so many Haitians in need of not only food but a risen Savior.
It felt hopeless indeed. And that's why I cried. We were just a hand full of people, twenty something in all on this trip.
What could we do? And we weren't even staying in this area but going up to the poorer areas in the mountains.
I couldn't stop thinking, how could people be any poorer than these? My pastor's wife and good friend reminded me of the story of the starfish.
A little boy walked along the beach after a bad storm. The beach sand was covered in starfish as far as the eye could see. He walked along and threw them back in the ocean as he went. An older man walked by and told the little boy it was hopeless, didn't he see the thousands of starfish dying on the beach? He asked the little boy, "Do you really think you're making a difference?" The little boy bent down and picked one up and tossed it into the ocean. "It made a difference to that one."
And that is exactly how I had to look at this trip. There are so many people in need in Haiti. We couldn't help them all, so we had to focus on the ones we could help.
We got to Sequin, the mountains of Haiti. A place where you truly wake above the clouds.
It's breathtaking and heartbreaking up there. I was part of a medical team that traveled to the remote villages in the mountains.
|Gilly! Our interpreter and a seminary student|
|Church service before one of the medical clinics.|
|Interpreters and our PA|
|some of our interpreters.|
Many of these people never saw a doctor before. They waited all day, walked for miles through the mountainous terrain to have 5 minutes with a doc/PA/nurse.
|little boy beating a bag of beans to crush them|
|Separating the beans|
The people there are so poor but so generous. If we as Americans were as generous and self-sacrificing as many of the Haitians I met, I'd dare say we'd have no poverty here.
|Someone shared that I love coconuts and we not only were given fresh coconuts but had the privilege of watching a young boy climb the tree. It was amazing!|
|Baptism in the river|
|The man who has a heart for Haiti and makes all this happen.|
I don't think you can go to a country like Haiti and NOT have it change your life. It makes you see that it isn't 'things' that make us happy. He is a personal relationship with the Lord that brings true joy.
I'm writing this post because of the burden I have for these beautiful people. If you want to support a mission that 100% of every dollar you send goes to the place you designate, then please check out Parakaleo International. Everyone who works there volunteers their time so that all money given can go to helping the people in need. Parakaleo hooks up churches in the US with new church plants in Haiti. These churches NEED us. They meet under tarps or if they are lucky a tin roof. Right now Parakaleo International is looking for a church to come alongside a church plant in the mountains in the Bedoranj area. If your church is interested contact Parakaleo International or me and I'll put you in contact with them.
Please click on the link and donate to Parakaleo International. Even a dollar will help us move closer to our goal. Help us help these people.
I'd love for you to stop by and see me on my blog tour. I'll be giving away a Kindle Fire, $15 Amazon gift card and much more! Here is the schedule.
May 29, 30, 31