Who’s Thirsty? Who’s Hungry?
Hi everyone! This is Donna Bennett.
Today marks another day of God’s people being His hands and His feet. Until this week, I have had a perception of what that means only to find out that God’s Hands and God’s feet are found in every part of the world. Rich or poor, young or old, sick or healthy. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you live, God is in each one of us.
Matthew 25:35 says, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.”
This verse comes to mind when I think about our day.
Today we were in Cite Soleil. It is considered to be the poorest place on earth. It is a slum in Port Au Prince, Haiti.
Before heading out we were given protocol necessary for our safety. You see, today we delivered water to this slum that houses about 300,000 Haitians in approximately 8.4 sq. miles. Very close quarters for people that walk, sleep and eat on mounds of trash, rock, glass and feces. They only receive water when a water truck brings it to them. Typically, water comes with a cost, but not today. HealingHaiti.org, provides water free of charge to the “least of these”, Matthew 25:40.
As we entered Cite Soleil, our senses were bombarded with strong sewage odor, garbage as far as the eye could see, cows/chickens/goats grazing on sewage and garbage, and children running towards our truck with laughter and excitement.
As we stepped out of the truck, any fear or apprehension of what the day might bring was gone. We stepped out of the truck and were immediately greeted by children saying, “po teay”. In creole, this means, “pick me up”. Each of us had multiple children in our hands as we took a walk to the Ocean, just ¼ mile away. We walked over glass, rock, sewage and garbage to a building site that will house a Church and School for the impoverished people in this community. Yes, all 300,000 people live in POVERTY! Many of the kids we were holding had minimal clothing on, if any at all. While these kids have no material wealth, they have something else… They have Joy and a whole lot of Love.
At the end of each day, we gather together and try to sum up our experience in one word…sometimes it takes at least three words. Some of today’s words were, Worth it, Thankful, Inspired, Worthy, Ownership, Smile, and Order within Disorder…. Which brings me back to the verse shared from Matthew 25:35.
Looking at the words that our team shared with each other tonight, I believe we were the hungry, thirsty and definitely the strangers today. We have come to help the “least of these”, but truly, it was us who became the “least of these” too.
We came to Cite Soleil STRANGERS to everyone we met and were invited in with smiles, laughter and hugs..
Knowing the hearts of my team members, I can tell you that we all have a passion and a yearning to know God’s Love and to Feel His Presence. We are HUNGRY! Sharing the day with these beautiful people of Haiti gave us all a new perspective in what it means to truly be fed. While their bellies are starving for food, our souls are starving for more of the “fruit of the Spirit”. Galatians 5:22 says, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.
This is real fruit that we crave and hunger. Our team received the “fruit of the Spirit” today from everyone we met. Truly… EVERYONE!
Today we made three separate water stops to give people who are physically thirsty, water to use and to drink. As I was putting 10 plus pounds of water on the heads (this is how they carry water)of the elderly and young, I was amazed by each ones strength, thankfulness and grace. You see, half of all the children in Cite Soleil are slaves. Amazing that the poorest of the poor have an established “class” system. These people live in a very hostile and desolate place, yet each person I personally helped looked in my eyes and offered a, “thank you and God Bless you” before they turned and walked away.
As I read my Bible tonight, a verse jumped out at me.
I Corinthians 12:13 says, “For we are all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body---whether Jew or Gentiles, slaves or free---and we were all given the one Spirit to drink”.
Did you read that? “One Spirit to DRINK”.
While I was providing physical nourishment to quench thirst, I was given Spiritual nourishment by those that could offer me the most nourishing drink there is to offer.
Today, I was the “least of these”. Today, I was hungry and was fed. Today, I was thirsty and was reminded of the most important thing I thirst.
What are you thirsting today?
If you are feeling empty, weary or weak, remind yourself of this…
Know matter your color, social class or circumstances, YOU have something that truly satisfies every need … His name is JESUS!