Yesterday (Saturday) we spent time distributing about 250 gift paks to children at an Abstinence Rally the Port-au-Prince suburb of Daquini. It was touching and heartbreaking all at once. Over 350 children were there and we didn’t have enough gifts to go around. The children were so beautiful.
Some of us went with a few of the children to their homes that were built into the side of the mountain.
They were so poor. Each house was made of mud and tin. They lived in one square room, … the whole family. There were no bathrooms, and or course, no air-conditioning, but we did not expect to find no windows. We were told this was because of expense and security. The temperatures inside the homes were over 100 degrees F.
One man named Kiki told me about the many problems his family was experiencing. He has five children and not enough food to feed them all.
One girl was so hungry that she was having trouble in school. We gave her what we had and prayed with her.
We heard the same heartbreaking accounts from one after another. No job. Very little food. No money for the school fees for the children. HIV infections. Had we visited every single dwelling, I sensed we would have heard the same stories repeated often.
The tragedy of poverty is not just a financial matter. No money means not enough food. One pastor told me that Haiti is stuck generation after generation in the same hole. Dealing with survival issues day after day keeps people from thinking and reflecting, thus there is very little social progress.
It’s really overwhelming to think about. I keep thinking about our view from the hill. Three million people in Port-au-Prince alone. 8.7 million in this tiny island nation where people live on less than $1US dollar a day.
Jesus once stood on a hill overlooking the city of Jerusalem and he wept because the people were like sheep without a shepherd.
Jesus, I’m looking down at Port-au-Prince, and I’m weeping.