As someone who has spent time in Haiti I would like to give you a different picture of Haiti. Haiti is not what recent characterizations would have you believe. Haiti is a gorgeous country that unfortunately is in Hurricane alley, bearing the brunt of storms with such frequency that recovery is almost impossible. The landscape is breathtaking as you travel from one side of the island to the other. As a matter of fact, we have a beautiful painting over our bed of a breathtaking view.
The People of Haiti
But more beautiful still are the people. The people of Haiti are survivors. They have survived the worst that Mother Nature can send. And, they have survived leaders who were corrupt, uncaring, and cruel.
These are people who have a great deal of pride, no matter how deep their poverty. The standard greeting is “Respect,” a reminder that each person is worthy of respect. Again, no matter the depth of their poverty, when their children go off to school they are immaculate. It is unreal how white the shirts are as you look at a background of poverty. They care about their children as we do. Perhaps more than we do, they know their future is dependent on the children.
Worship is a true celebration with drums and powerful singing. The language may have been foreign to me, but their worship transcended language. After worship we were offered meals. Truly humbling knowing they were giving you food they could ill afford to share.
Resilience and Assistance
Like our country there are good and bad people. The landscape can be gorgeous, the people resilient. We should recognize Haiti as the resilient, beautiful country it is. Haitians do not want our pity, but they do pray for our assistance.
I treasure my time in Haiti and can’t wait for the day when I can go back.
How The United Methodist Church Helps When Disaster Strikes
When natural disasters, such as earth quakes and hurricanes, occur, or even human-caused disasters strike outside of the United States, “UMCOR serves as the primary channel for United Methodist assistance. In the short-term, UMCOR provides funds to our partners to provide food, hygiene supplies, shelter, and other basic needs to ease human suffering. In the long-term, we work with local partners towards recovery and reconstruction.” Through giving at church and special offerings, the local Methodist Church is a part of the humanitarian and rebuilding efforts to recover from these disasters in Haiti and many other places around the world. More on UMCOR.