From Puerto Rico to Haiti
He’s been thinking. Maybe someone could loan him a motorcycle so he could drive “motor-taxi” to make some money. My best counsel is that it is unlikely that anyone will want to lend a motorcycle to a 16-yr-old. Let’s call on Your specific care again, Lord!
I’ve been getting the young men in the house and church to help with some projects, and learn about home maintenance. I gave them some pointers on preserving water (which is expensive and all too often unavailable)–things I learned while growing up in the islands. For instance, if you have drawn water to bathe, stand in the basin and catch the falling water. When you are finished, the water can be used to flush the toilet.
Little Boy’s Joy
Toys are not as essential as clothing, toothbrushes and food, and I’ve brought very little in the way of toys on my trips. This month, however, a friend had given me some new matchbox cars and I encouraged our son to add to the collection. One day, when some women in the church were downstairs working in the kitchen, I heard a unique pounding. The cook’s 18-month-old child was contenting himself by playing with a rock, the diversion available to him while his mother toiled. Whereas my son had selected from a vast variety of matchbox cars, this little boy was given two matchbox cars, possibly the only durable toys of his childhood to come. The rock was quickly forsaken.
The missionary intrigue with Haiti may never end. The great gulf of circumstances remains, and compassion should exist whenever stories come from her shores. An author writing a title such as, “When Helping Hurts” could base his entire volume on futile, well-meaning thousands sent with a strong message: Dependency. Good comes from a foreigner…the “gospel” that is understood by the Haitian populace all too often.
Our missions effort has attempted to do another thing: To train Haitians in Christian leadership. To have them refrain from dependence from outside. We have built no buildings in Haiti and have sent no regular salary to Haitians. The men and women being trained rigorously in Bible doctrine and church leadership have well-understood that their completion of their training will not be followed-up by any more than their ability to help their churches strengthen in being self-sufficient.
But then, there is compassion.
Pastor Julian Matthew