Have you ever done something and tried to expect the very best, but in your heart expected nothing?
It can be interesting– this getting invested in the lives of other people thing. There’s a lot more at risk and on the table than what meets the eye. We’ve realized, its not simply just helping someone out for a season and washing your hands of the whole thing. At least that’s not what happened in Haiti this summer.
When we left, we left a huge chunk of ourselves. Because, truthfully, when you teach someone, you invest in them. It was a little like handing them a prized posession and watching to see what they’d all do with it. It’s true, some of them weren’t very interested in class. Some of them appeared to fall asleep in class and avoided all eye contact. However, many grasped the conceptual facts of what we were teaching, and as they applied it…they were liberated by what this confirmed about who they were. It was like they were listening to God saying ‘Yes, my child, you were created with purpose and passion. You were not a mistake.’ It is those people who have somehow managed to continue providing clean water and empowering others since we left…7 months ago.
When we left, we entrusted some of our friends with monies to complete a rain tank, as well as tools to train others how to build rain catchment tanks. (A rain catchment tank is a very inexpensive water technology perfect for a place like Haiti). Its sad to admit, but we guarded our hearts. We didn’t want to see someone throw our ‘prized possessions’ into a fire or bury it underground. We wanted to see these Haitians empowered, transformed and motivated to continue to being the Love of Christ in tangible ways to their community. But, we left and expected nothing. Heck, maybe they would have just spent the money on something for themselves. Understandable, right? …Not for these guys. Though their knowledge is rudimentary, they managed to teach an entire community about rain tanks and very basic hygiene the past few weeks. Every penny accounted for.
Seeing the following photos released a new wave of belief in both of us. Looking at the future of a country not even stable enough to be labeled ‘third-world’, it can appear pretty grim. At times, thinking about even attempting to improve the quality of life for these people seems pointless. But, then we look at these precious photos of these amazing people in Haiti. This country is better because of the love they carry.
It is because of these photos we can continue to push forward in our own lives. It makes Ryan’s research and development that much more important. It brings his teachings to new levels. It brings my heart to a new place in thinking about writing curriculum for children. Putting a face, a community, a story behind the numbers we study every day is invaluable. Knowing these guys and that we had the amazing privilege to speak into their lives and open up our hearts to them has been such a blessing.
Most of all, it makes that risk worth taking. It makes being vulnerable and opening ourselves up to a totally new experience, culture and need worth it. Stories like this make the dream of bringing clean water to the world a little clearer. It makes it all worthwhile.
It is our prayer to return to this beautiful island and empower these guys in even more specific ways, but until then, they will be doing it on their own with our long distance encouragement. Enjoy these pictures. They truly are as much of a result of your partnership as they are of our teaching. Thank you for all you are doing with us!