Haiti consists of trash baking in the heat, rivers of sewage lining dirt roads, and more poverty than any American could ever imagine. Most people are jobless, homeless, widowed, ill, or all of these. The smell is unbearable, but the people living here are used to it. The broken glass and scattered trash is abounding, but they know nothing else. As we have driven through such conditions this week, it can be easy to get caught up in how poor Haiti is and miss out on the beauty that rivals it.
Mountains stretching to the sky, the picturesque ocean lapping on sand, the smiles and laughter of a child who is happy to simply play soccer with an empty 7 Up bottle in the street, but most of all, the strong faith that many Haitians have in Jesus Christ.
I have met tons of people in my life that genuinely love the Lord, but never have I seen praise so authentic before this trip. We have done different types of mission work this week, but one thing we’ve done consistently is lead worship for people with our instruments and voices. Every time men, women and children, young and old, have raised their hands, sang along with us and rejoiced, despite the fact that most of the time they don’t quite understand what we’re saying; but they’ve known the message we are trying to get across. Quotes like, “We have nothing, so God is everything,” and “You can bring me water, you can bring me food, but nothing will satisfy me like Jesus can,” have sincerely rocked me. The authentic praise and faith I have seen in these people is such an inspiration. It is beautiful. They are beautiful.
We came to Haiti to serve “the least of these”, but in reality, they have served us just as much if not more so. Amidst the garbage and suffering, there is an indescribable beauty that can only point to God’s hand. These people may be lacking in worldly possessions, but they are storing up miraculous treasures in the kingdom of heaven.