Reverend Stephen's Reflections on the Haiti Mission Trip
Just walked back into the house after going for a walk and was thirsty. Without giving it much thought, I reached for the tap to take a drink of water. Suddenly, a moment of panic consumed me and I stopped, and then, just as sudden a sigh of relief. I was back in Canada and hadn’t just swallowed something that could have made me violently sick.
The act I had just performed is something you and I do quite unconsciously, drinking from a safe water source. We seldom if ever wonder if it will harm us.
Haiti is a world away, that’s how I have come to speak of it. We all know it is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and a long way from Canada, but to see, smell and experience what life is like there-well, let’s just say we inhabit different worlds.
We live in a material world, consumption is our God and we spend much of our time figuring out how we will spend our hard earned money; we contemplate what next item we can buy to improve our selves and make us happy. We live in Canada, the wealthiest and most affluent nation in the history of mankind. We are privileged beyond all comparison. We have come to expect that what we have in life is ours to do with whatever we want, after all we have earned it.
This surreal world of abundance leaves us out of touch with a reality that so many others face daily. We are protected from most of life’s harsh realities, lack of food, drinking water, etc. This material consumer world we live in lies to us about what makes for a happy and satisfied life. We miss out on the immediacy of life, the touch and smells that go with being connected closely with others; the day to day vibrancy of life lived of being connected to our surroundings.
As I reflect on the week that has just passed I am torn. I hope and pray that I will not forget what blessings we have in our lives, and equally, what a place like Haiti can teach us about the life we lead. I personally felt more alive.
A few years ago our family hosted two Kenyan students for a short time. Prior to their return home we asked them about their experience of this country, one of them said that he felt sad for us because we had so much! I think I now understand what he meant.
Haiti is a world away in so many ways; we are worlds apart. Someone said to me last night that anything you do in countries like Haiti goes for nought. Yet through actions of people and groups which seek to alleviate suffering and poverty, opportunities like this trip can make a difference in both our worlds. As Christians we have an obligation. We cannot stand idle in the face of great poverty and need. I pray that you might be encouraged to join this outreach, you will be blessed if you do.
Posted by Janice Hatt