Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Smiling Face of Poverty

Here in Haiti each morning before breakfast, one person in our group shares a reading with everybody.  Today’s shared reading, Romans 8:31, said, “Do not expect an easy path as you journey hand in hand with Me, but do remember that I, your very present Helper, am omnipotent.”

What a perfect reading to prepare us for our day.  After a 6 a.m. tent worship service, we headed out on our tap-tap.  Our first stop was at Terre Promise School in Cite Soleil.  We delivered nearly 30 boxes of Feed My Starving Children food to the school, which was such a rewarding experience for me after the complicated process of getting the food TO Haiti.

                                                                                                From there, we set off to do our daily water delivery to the slums of Cite Soleil.  Due to government demonstrations in the city today, there were more obstacles delivering the water than usual.   I’d like to say things have changed in Cite Soleil since my May trip, but they have not.  The smell of poverty still hangs heavy, children still run dirty and naked in the streets, babies and children with unattended medical disabilities are seen everywhere, dirty shacks, no toilets or sanitation systems, no running water, children walking shoeless on raw sewage and glass, and no garbage pickup are still the norm.  And yet, as we stood in the most poverty stricken part of Port au Prince, I was happy to be there.  I was happy to be holding babies, carrying water, moving water buckets, and taking photos of all the smiling children. 

These children know God.  They accept the fact that God has not dealt them an easy lot in life.  And as difficult as it is for me to comprehend, they seem okay with that.  In fact, they stood with our group today among the garbage and filth singing glory to God.  Their total and complete faith is almost difficult to grasp, yet it’s so simple.  Just as this morning’s reading reminds us, they  are walking their journey hand n hand with God—and smiling all the way.


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