Thursday, November 12, 2015

Day 4: Grace Village

Much of my time here in Haiti has been spent trying to understand. 

I have tried to understand how so many babies and toddlers who are sick or dying can be put into one spot where they would be essentially neglected if it weren't for the many missionary groups who came on a regular basis. I have tried to understand the social system created when the truck filled with clean water (that we brought to 3 different unimaginably impoverished areas yesterday), honks their horn and people come running with 5 gallon bucket's and tin pots with holes in them only to push and sneak their way to the front of the line so they can come back a second or third time because it is the only clean water they get. I have tried to understand how a government can be so prideless as to allow so many of their people to live in these conditions then have the audacity to literally litter the streets with their pictures and ask for their votes. I have tried to understand Healing Haiti's role and what we are really accomplishing here. Are we helping these people or are we actually here to "tour" and realize how lucky we are to have been born into a life and country where freedom, opportunity and prosperity are laid at our feet? 

But what I am coming to realize this week is that it's not necessarily the 13 people in our group that are helping many in Haiti to have a better life. It's more so the relentless repetition of mission groups like ours. Week in and week out. Our group is spreading love, but all the groups together and the funds they bring are changing lives. And in many ways.

Today we went to see the crowning achievement of Healing Haiti to date...Grace Village. This oasis of "life as it should be" is nothing short of amazing. You notice right away that the kids don't come up to you and pull on your shirt or lift their arms up to you to pick them up. It's different here.

In 4 short years, Healing Haiti has created a school for 400 children from pre-K through high school, a health clinic, a church, the largest playground in Haiti and dormitory housing for 42 of the children to call home instead of an orphanage. Here, children are given the basics of life so that they can focus on becoming something more. And between the teachers and staff, 120 Haitian jobs have been created at Grace Village! Also, a bakery is almost complete that will not only provide food for the village and local people, but also help fund the sustainability of Grace Village for years to come. 

The vision of Healing Haiti is to provide a "way out" of the poverty and while doing so build a generation of educated, motivated and empowered Haitians to lead this area to a better way of life.

So to anyone reading this who gave to someone on this team, thank you! And if you have thought about coming, know you will be part of a relentless effort to make a difference for the people here in Haiti.