Coming to Haiti I had only one expectation. Every other experience has been completely unexpected and not anticipated. Being in Haiti and serving along side my team has been a day by day, moment by moment soaking in of what God had planned for the day.
My one expectation happened at the end of the day as we visited the Haitian Initiative, an organization Nate and I have supported over the last year or so. It was amazing to set foot on a soccer field not only outside of the US, but on one that we have been involved with. The biggest moment for me didn't happen on the field during our game, Healing Haiti vs Haitian Initiative (where they creamed us 5-0), but on what happened after the game. We were led into a large concrete building where, we as a team, had the privilege of handing out meals to the players, provided for by Feed My Starving Children (FMSC). So many times, back home, we have had the opportunity to pack meals for FMSC, but this is a first for me and so many of my teammates, to see exactly where the meals go. This has so far been one of the most moving parts of the trip for me. This is the only meal most of these young boys will have today.
The needs in Haiti are great, from food to water you name it. This morning we were blessed with the opportunity to deliver water to three very different neighborhoods is Cite Soliel, the poorest city in the Western Hemisphere, if not the World. As we park our Tap Tap the children of the neighborhood come running up to us asking us to hold them. How often in America does a little child ask you to hold them? And would you? Probably not for fear of what their mother would do, right? Not so here in Haiti. If we were not manning the water hose or filling up buckets, we had children hanging on us. My most memorable part of the day was when I unknowing picked up two little girls that happened to be twins. One was fully clothed and one was completely naked, which is very common here in Haiti. So many children and adults, but mainly children, running around with little or no clothing, unashamed, wanting our love and attention, while completely filling up our love tanks to the brim.
One of the most striking things to me is how we see them is different than how they see themselves. They do not know any different. This is their life, they have known no other. They do not understand the yellow brick road, land of the plenty, freedom opportunity that we do in America. Yes there is a longing and a need for more as many go hungry and thirsty, but many don't even realize that they may actually be the community that suffers the most in this World. And even in their suffering they are just like you and I. There is no we and they, but an us. I have experienced many moments this week that have shown me how much alike we are. It doesn't matter how much money and resources you have, what matters is your heart.
The best thing I've seen us, as a team, do in Haiti is to reach outside of our comfort zone, meet each person where they are at and love on them, proving what they need in this moment of time; physically, emotionally and spiritually.