Well that’s another trip to Haiti in the books. Honestly, I would have to look through the pages of my precious two passports to figure out how many times I have taken this trip with people from two separate churches that I have served. Since I began these trips, I have felt a strange tension, it is a tension that is almost hard to put my finger on exactly, but I will try. How can I come to a place and see what is to me obvious brokenness? Yet, in the midst of that place I see the beautiful human nature that is richer than I am.
Let me back track a bit, you see each time we go, we plan and prepare so that we can be the most effective while we are in the country. As Canadians, we are pretty focused on being productive so that when we return we can declare that our work was important. On this trip for example we helped build a house for an elderly lady, constructed half a kitchen for a feeding program, played with many orphans, learned a lot about diabetes in Haiti, and oh ya fed some kids and served some elderly people. But to be honest many of us asked ourselves as many groups do, was this worth it? Were we effective enough to justify spending the money, maybe our money would have been better spent if we had just sent to through western union.
I mean what good are a bunch of sweaty Canadians to the people of Haiti? Oh I could argue that this is not just some short-term mission trip, this is a long-term commitment to people and several projects our family of churches have been a part of since 2002 and I would be right.
I could also give the answer a wise Haitian pastor gave us this week that we are all family and that it is important that brothers and sisters in Christ connect face to face. That we touch and see each other’s struggles no matter how different they are. He also reminded us that Jesus himself choose to come and be among us, to touch and see us in our context, and it is that fact that made his sacrifice profoundly important to us as a human race. His mandate was also interesting, “for I didn’t come to be served but to serve, and to give my life as a ransom for many.”
The fact is that whether we go to places like Haiti or we stay home we live in a broken world. It may look different in each place, but it is full of places where we are being asked to serve the hurting.