- Written by Nelly Sanford Nelly Sanford
- Created: November 22 2011 November 22 2011
The New York Times in 2008 told the following stories of Haiti:
In Haiti, where three-quarters of the population earns less than $2 a day and one in five children is chronically malnourished, the one business booming amid all the gloom is the selling of patties made of mud, oil and sugar, typically consumed only by the most destitute. “It’s salty and it has butter and you don’t know you’re eating dirt,” said Olwich Louis Jeune, 24, who has taken to eating them more often in recent months. “It makes your stomach quiet down.”
Meanwhile, most of the poorest of the poor suffer silently, too weak for activism or too busy raising the next generation of hungry. In the sprawling slum of Haiti’s Cité Soleil, Placide Simone, 29, offered one of her five offspring to a stranger. “Take one,” she said, cradling a listless baby and motioning toward four rail-thin toddlers, none of whom had eaten that day. “You pick. Just feed them.”
Note this was prior to the 2010 earthquake and summer hurricane that Haiti endured. Many sources indicate the population is even more destitute now.
Robin from Life Tree Adventures told us that her group sends people on mission trips all over the world, but nowhere has she seen poverty like in Haiti. Yet, we are challenged—don’t fail to do something just because we can not do everything.
And twenty of us from Saint John’s are going to Haiti in June! We have made down payments on our room and board in Haiti. Half of us have reserved our flights and the other half are working furiously to make arrangements before prices go up. We are applying for passports, getting our immunizations up to date, and learning more about this place we will visit. Consider coming to our next meeting, on Sunday, December 11, at Noon in the Large Fellowship Hall. We’ll see slides and hear from a Redeemer member who was in Haiti last June.
We are working on a “Hesed for Haiti” bulletin board. Check it out for updates on our preparations, news from the missionaries we will stay with, and charts on how our funding is progressing.
Speaking of fundraising … word is that the Thanksgiving Pies were wonderful! There are rumors of “indulgences” being sold before Christmas—the sweet, edible kind. The total cost of the trip is $1,500.00 per person. This is room and board for 8 days, transportation, and a translator while in Haiti, as well as round trip plane fare. The balance of expenses are due to be paid in April.
The Mission Trip is June 9–16. We will have the privilege of worshiping with the congregation on Sunday the 10th. Monday through Thursday we will be working at the various sites our missionary supports: construction on a medical clinic, a home for teenage mothers, and a vocational school for women. Heartline Ministries does a great job on giving a “hand up” rather than hand outs, focusing on sustainability projects through which Haitians pull themselves out of poverty. Friday is then a free day for going to the local market and seeing first-hand what life is like in the city of Port Au Prince. Saturday we will fly home.
We need your prayers as we plan for this special trip. Even more, the people of Haiti need your prayers. God surely has a plan for them, though many have lost hope in his love for them. Pray that we can use the many gifts God has blessed us with for the benefit of his children in Haiti.
“Hesed” is a Hebrew word that means “kindness”, “mercy”, “loyalty”, “loving-kindness” or “steadfastness.” It’s the way God intends us to live together—a “love your neighbor as yourself”, active, selfless, sacrificial, caring-for-one-another brand of living contradictory to our fallen natures. The “Heseders” are continually looking to work together to share some small measure of God’s extraordinary love. Won’t you join us?