This is Haiti
And so is this.
Life in Haiti is sometimes the same as here.
But often, it is different.
We here in the United States are so fortunate in the material sense.
We live in an orderly world with building codes and paved roads.
And plenty of doctors.
We have regular meals, plans, goals, and schedules.
We can begin to think that how we live is just the way the world is.
In Haiti, many parts of life are different. It is dirty and smells.
And too many children
When there is no electricity, schedules are set by the rising and setting sun.
Haitians hopes for the future
Are in some ways the same as ours
And in some ways different.
To get through the day.
To feed their children.
And send them to school.
To work hard so that life might be a little bit better for them and their children.
And to smile.
In the lack of structure, people hear and see God more.
They aren’t caught up as much in their own plans and in many ways have less control over their lives.
“Give us this day our daily bread,” is a prayer Haitians understand very well.
Perhaps they will be more interested in talking with a friend, singing a song, and praising God for any little blessing.
I’m fearful that in talking like this, we will be tempted to say, “In their poverty,
They really are happy.
But the poverty exacts
A terrible price.
We do have much to learn from the poor people of the world. In living in such dire circumstances, they realize what is important.
Like how great God is.
They realize what is important like we would if we were told we had six months to live.
But the poverty exacts a terrible price, a price that the developed world should not tolerate. When we turn out heads, it hurts our souls.
A Polish sister we know runs a health clinic in a very poor area. She has been to the United States and echoes Mother Teresa when she says, “Americans suffer from a poverty of the heart. So what is the solution?
Perhaps a clue can be found in the Haitian motto on the Haitian flag: L’union fait la force. Through unity, strength.
Or to put it another way, we need each other.
She needs your time and talent.
They need your treasure.
All need your prayers.
But we need them too.
To save us from shallowness, self-absorption, and materialism and lots of other causes of sinfulness and unhappiness.