Mankind's broken relationships.
Since the fall of man; our relationships with God, our fellow man, communities, and environments have been broken. This brokenness has effected every aspect of our lives for thousands of years.
Over the past decade there has been almost $3 billion (yeah that's with a B) in foreign aid poured into Haiti and their poverty rate has increased from 75 percent to 85 percent! Well, I think we can check money off the list as one of the sole things that is going to change this country. As Americans we couldn't be more polar opposite of the Haitians when it comes to culture and material possessions. So when we see problems in other parts of the world we immediately revert to solutions that may work in our own cultures. Things like donating to a local charity, NGO, or other organization that we believe will be doing good on our behalf. Statistics have shown in Haiti that just giving money is not producing the desired results.
If you had a broken relationship in your life; I mean a real broken relationship. And we were all being honest with ourselves; money would not be the best way to mend that relationship. It would take time and interaction with that individual to begin to repair what was broken. Its the same here. We need to meet these people where they are at and develop relationships with them in order to begin to affect change in this culture.
Building a relationship with a Haitian person on a one week mission trip, in and of itself would not offer a good long term approach to improving their lives. One week is just not enough time. That's where a good missionary team and partners in country help to offer a consistent beneficial relationship which will allow God to begin to speak into and change the lives of many in this culture.
Today we went, worked, developed relationships, and returned with sore backs, muscles, sunburnt skin, and hearts filled with joy and thankfulness for the opportunity. The roofing project is coming along quite nicely and we hope to finish tomorrow. However an unexpected blessing and an event that was truly God initiated happened today with the children living in the area near the home. The kids were at the sight the last two days but we noticed that there was not a lot for them to do. (you should have seen their excitement when we produced a cheap soccer ball from the back of the truck) Team members Deb and Marcia both have huge hearts for these people and especially for the kids; put together a craft box with various items and activities for the kids. We arrive and begin working on the roof. We set the craft box aside as some of the children would be at school until around 11:30 and wanted to wait for them before digging into it. But these Haitian children were so inquisitive that they broke open the box a little early;) You should have seen their faces lit up with excitement as they colored with crayons (they used every sheet of paper we brought), made bracelets, made pipe cleaner glasses, chalk painting, jumping rope (the Haitian girls really showed of their skills at this!), looked at picture books, and did some language lessons on English (the kids also gave Deb and Marcia lessons in Haitian Creole).
We have plans, God has plans. His plans were unexpected but greatly blessed both our team and our friends here in Haiti.