There’s been renewed discussion about Haiti in the news recently. As an organization working with Haitians since 1983, we happen to know a few things about the country and its people.
Several years ago on one of our mission trips, I said, “Haiti is a contradiction. There is beauty and brokenness, majestic view and malnutrition.” Anyone who has been to Haiti would, I believe, agree. It has experienced a turbulent past and present, from both within and without. From natural disasters, epidemics, bad indigenous leadership, outside meddling and unjust external involvement, Haiti seems like it cannot get ahead.
The by-product of all these negative factors is truly immeasurable. The land produces nothing the world wants, so there is little national export. When no one wants to buy anything from you, your economy is in shambles, which breeds unemployment, poverty, poor education, and the chain goes on.
I don’t know why there are nations and peoples that advance at greater speeds than others, or why poverty and suffering seem indelible in places. I appreciate Allister Begg on this: “The actions of God, in judgment and in mercy, are not constrained by our understanding of what is taking place. We do not have to understand everything so as to give credence to the hand and heart of God.”
The world we live in is full of countries like Haiti, struggling to succeed on the global stage. Does this make them less worthy? I hope not. If a country is not at the cutting edge of technology, are they thrown away? Again, I hope not. Haiti doesn’t have a Fifth Avenue, or a space program, or set the standard in entertainment or technology.
But it is a nation governed by the Hand of God and its people have eternal value.
Most Haitian are keenly aware of how they are perceived – always in need of the world’s handouts, unable to fix themselves, a never-ending burden. Several years ago, we were gathered in the mountains of the central plateau in Haiti with a team and a few Haitian leaders. We were having a time of prayer and one of our Haitian brothers prayed, “God, I ask you that someday Haiti will be a blessing to the nations.” I was blown away by the sincere and God-sized prayer. My Haitian brother, more familiar with the plight of Haitian life than I ever will be, believed God had a plan for Haiti far greater than we have ever seen. I loved that prayer. He believed that God was not yet done with Haiti, and that its best years are yet to come.
Many people have given up on Haiti, saying, “It’s just not worth it.” But God’s not done with Haiti yet. And if God is not done, then neither are we.
Haitians are a beautiful, compassionate, and loving people. God continues to draw Haitians to Himself, freeing them from the bondage of slavery to sin. He is raising up leaders to care for the marginalized population of Haiti, thrown away because they’ve been told they’re of no value. We are committed to working side by side with our Haitian brothers and sisters to care for the orphan and do our part to grow the Kingdom of God. They are people of tremendous value and worthy of our time and compassion. We must remember the words of our Savior:
“Go and make disciples al ALL nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you.” –Matthew 28:19-20a
In February, Roy Baldwin and Paul Deasy are going to Haiti to assess our involvement there. We ask that you would be in prayer for this trip, and that God would give us wisdom and discernment as we look at how God wants to continue to use the ministry of Love in Motion there, and how to most efficiently pursue the mission.