Last night, I learned to greatly appreciate my bed. Since my plane arrived in FLL at 11:45 PM and my flight left at 6:25 PM, I didn’t think it was good use of dollars to get a hotel for 3+ hours of sleep. I also forgot how painful it is to sleep on the floor and how terrible conditions are in the airport.
As I arrive in Haiti, I am already feeling a bit tired. I battle to get my luggage and walk out among the mob of people and find out Zeke is running 20 minutes late because of traffic. He arrives, we jump in the car and we are off to our first meeting, with Pastor Bilda of International Bible League. As we drive through the streets of Port-au-Prince, I am amazed how anyone knows where they are going. No signs. Crooked and crowded streets. And bumper-to-bumper traffic going both ways. After three phone calls, we get to where we are going and have an outstanding meeting. There is truly going to be some awesome things to come from our two organizations working together, the first of which is purchasing 2,500 copies of the new, hot-off-the-press book of John in Kreyol, recently re-translated at a 3rd grade reading level. We will be giving these to ALL the school children in the Christian schools we work with in Pignon (all CBP schools) and to 300 of Silentor’s kids.
We then go to lunch, as Zeke parks the truck right in front of the resturant to keep a close eye on it. The alarm goes off numerous times, as passer-bys and trucks get a little too close. We finish our meal and off to the next meeting with a potential lawyer to work with us.
After 45 minutes of searching, four phone calls, and asking dozens of passer-bys for directions, we arrive at the meeting and need to wait 30 minutes, as he is stuck in traffic coming back from a court hearing. Great meeting and we finish and take off to Pignon.
Up the mountains we wind, down the mountains we go, through 3 small creeks, one town market, and some geniunely tough terrain, we arrive at Pignon. This also doesn’t account for the sweltering, 95 degree heat that we’ve encountered all day. And I am truly exhausted.
As I was driving home, it struck me how exhausting poverty is. These people are NOT lazy. In fact, I would argue they work WAY harder throughout the day than most of us just to do the tasks they do. I see kids and women carrying buckets of water, goods to sell at the market, and whatever else they can fit on their heads. Men are busy giving rides on motorcycles, selling telephones, or working the fields with ox-driven plows. We picked one friend up on the way home, who had five miles to walk home from work. Five miles, one-way, after working all day! And this is after most likely sleeping on the ground, with all family members cuddled around, in a tin-roofed, no-air building. And don’t even get me started on how they cooked their food tonight. More than anything, I want to blow the whole “these people are lazy” lie out of the water. If anything, the shoe is on the other foot, as for many of us (not all – don’t hear what I am not saying) a “hard day’s labor” is sitting behind a computer screen, attending meetings, and being on the phone.
My prayer for these people (and me today!), is for God to fill them up with His spirit. When they are exhausted, for them to lean on Him and to be renewed with His living water. And for us to have a bit more perspective on the poor, our blessings, and how we interact with our Creator. Thank you Jesus for spending me today, wiping me out for your glory. Fill me with your presence to do it again tomorrow and experience more of You.