Who really are the poor anyway?
You have probably heard that Haiti has more NGO's (Non-Government Organizations) than any other country in the world. There is no doubt that people all over the world have a soft spot in their hearts for helping the poor.
Steve posed a great question for the team in our morning devotion prior to leaving for the roofing project. What defines a poor person? Very simple question and coming from a western culture our minds automatically go to images of people who in our terms; "live without." Those who live without food, clothing, clean water, a job, and a roof over your head, etc. All things that can be categorized as materially poor and they fit into the worldly definition of poor. In our north American culture we are prone to attach checklists to things and only consider things that can be measured as the important things to consider. The description above of the materially poor of course are all things that can be measured. But there are different types of poverty aren't there? If a person is materially poor but lets say spiritually rich; is that person really poor? Now that's deep.
Before we left for our roofing project Steve encouraged us to see our Haitian brothers and sisters as God sees them. Not as the materially poor people we tend to think of. Walking with them and working with them. Not working on them or for them.
Joe is a Haitian man who works as one of the guards of the guest house here and he offered to help us with the roofing project. In the tap tap truck on the way to the jobsite he was telling us his story of the impact God has had on his life. What are the most important things in his life (God, his family, relationships) and the happiness that he has everyday living for the Lord. Such profound wisdom from a man who by American standards is poor.
At the jobsite we were joined by several Haitians from the community working hand in hand, building a roof together. On the ground level we enjoyed interacting with the neighborhood. Trying out our best Creole with the kids, kicking the soccer ball around with the local boys, and just spending time with them in their community, all as brothers and sisters of Christ. No additional labels required.
Being content in this day in age seems as hard to find as a unicorn. Everyone strives for it and a small few actually find it. The people we have had the blessing to come in contact with have a contentment unlike any we have seen. Many believe that true contentment and material contentment must be closely related in order to both be at a high level. Haiti definitely doesn't fit that mold and we have witnessed first hand some of the most content people we have ever encountered.
So we ask the question again for you to ponder....who are the poor anyway?