This post contains articles by Rick and Karmen Brown depicting their time in Haiti. The Browns arrived in Haiti on October 22 and depart for home tomorrow. Karmen has been to Haiti many times, but this is Rick’s first time to the country. They are visiting their daughter, Heather, who is working for MH4H in Savanette. All three are pictured below, standing at the top of the Citadel in Haiti.
Experiencing Haiti for myself
By Rick Brown, father to MH4H staff member Heather Brown and husband to MHM Store Co-Manager Karmen Brown
I felt like I had already experienced Haiti from all the stories and pictures that Karmen and Heather brought back over the years. However, experiencing the city and the people for myself has brought me to tears many times. It is hard to see people live without so many of the conveniences we take for granted in America.
In Haiti, legend says that a 100 year curse was placed on the country. While my first impressions deduce that a curse could be the cause of all the poverty, sickness, and filth, I know that God is always in control and will turn bad into good for His glory. In Haiti, the people may be poor in worldly things, but they have a much greater wealth in things that really matter in life. Experiencing how they praise the Lord, value family and friends, and willingly share anything they have is truly amazing. Also, on a side note, the scenery is absolutely gorgeous.
Seeing the country for myself has been an eye-opening experience, and one of the highlights so far included distributing food to the Thrive for Five program with the MH4H team. Thrive for 5 supports children ages zero to five in their developmental stages to develop physically, mentally, and spiritually. Starting young gives these kids the best chance for a brighter future.
How much these small children eat is amazing! We found out that some of the children could have tape worms that consume most of the food they eat. They can be de-wormed, but the tape worms will keep coming back because of the filth they live in. Because most Haitian homes have dirt floors, bacteria resides in the ground and often spreads to the entire family. The best thing to do to prevent disease and tape worms is to put cement floors in their homes. This can be done for about $300 per home, which seems like such a small amount when considering how much it would bless these children and their families.
Almost everyone who has taken a mission trip to Haiti says it has changed their perspective on life, and I would agree. I had experienced Haiti vicariously through Heather and Karmen, but I’m realizing it’s an entirely new experience to do it for myself. If you haven’t made the trip, I would highly recommend it.
From a mother’s heart
By Karmen Brown, Store Co-Manager of Many Hands Market
I have been to Haiti many times, and I love the Haitian people. A part of my heart is always in Haiti, and now an even bigger part of my heart resides here with our daughter Heather. This trip has been different for me since I am not with a large team like usual. I’m enjoying this new experience as Rick and I are living with Heather and Cassidy, working and serving right alongside them and our Haitian brothers and sisters.
The past nine days have been such a blessing for Rick and me to be part of Heather’s life here in Haiti. We enjoyed each and every activity, serving in our Lord’s name with her and the MH4H team. We even had a day to visit the Citadel, which was an incredible experience for all of us! The only casualty: we lost the bumper on our taptap. (A taptap is basically a Haitian taxi.)
I am in awe of how the Lord is working through MH4H and the team here. This is not some “romantic mission job.” This team works long hours each day serving, teaching, planning, and loving the Haitian people in the name of Jesus. It is amazing how resourceful this team is, always making the most of what they have to work with.
To watch our dear daughter love these children, look them in their precious faces and call them by name, love them with the love of Jesus, and have a heart to serve them in His name – I don’t have the words to tell you how full my heart is. When I’m home, I miss her so much, but I would not want her to be anywhere else than here, serving our Lord in Haiti where He has called her. Please hold this team in your hearts and in your prayers each and every day, many times, as they continue to seek to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those He brings across their path.
Bondye Bon! (God is good!)