“We have no right to judge the rich. What we desire is not a class struggle but a class encounter, in which the rich save the poor and the poor save the rich.”
We spent our last day in Haiti at Grace Village in Titanyen. Grace Village, being built by Healing Haiti, is a beautiful, sprawling complex that sits atop of hills of Titanyen and is home to an orphanage, school, tilapia farm, guesthouse, a nearly completed medical building, and a feeding center that Reiser Relief helped to fund. It is also where Reiser Relief will be funding the completion of an eldercare center to be named in Father Reiser’s memory. What an upbeat way to spend our last day in Haiti--playing with the orphans, and helping to wash the feet, shower, do craft projects, and feed the local elderly people that were there for their quarterly medical visits. While interacting with both the young and the old, I was reminded of Father Reiser’s dedication to providing dignity to the lives all God’s children from cradle to grave, and I was proud to see our team helping to carry on his wishes in Haiti.
Our last day here was also significant as it was the three-year anniversary of the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010. One of our Haitian staff members led us in a beautiful prayer remembering the over 250,000 people who had died in the earthquake, the largest tragedy of our lifetime. As one of our Haitian staff shared his story with me about the day of the earthquake and the horrific things he witnessed, I was overcome with the incredible resiliency of the Haitian people and their steadfast faith in God throughout all their suffering. I was also amazed at the progress that has been in returning normalcy to their country in the three short years since the earthquake.
Many Haitians who died in the earthquake are buried in mass graves.
Tomorrow our team heads back to what we know as reality. We came together in wonderful ways as a group this past week, but yet, we will all take different things home with us. I am honored and privileged to have had the opportunity to be witness once again to the lives of the Haitian people. We came to give to them, but they gave to us, too. They shared their happiness for life and their deep faith, we were given smiles of welcome and hugs of gratitude, and they welcomed us to join them in their prayer and worship. But we also witnessed the extreme poverty, and the looks of desperation in many of their faces are impossible to ignore. In spite of what has been done, there is so much more to do. The continued suffering of so many of their people is unfair and so unnecessary. Thus, my desire to continue to help this country grows stronger.
Packing food to deliver to a nearby "tent city."