It’s 2 o’clock in the morning and I’m sitting by the gate at the mission house in Kaymirliton. I woke up and was having trouble sleeping, so I decide to take a walk around the compound here. It is quite nice this time of day, probably 70º right now here by the ocean. It almost feels like a vacation Caribbean island resort were it not for the locked gate and security wall surrounding me.
I find myself thinking about my life here on planet earth. How I fit into the master plan of the great Architect. So much of my life back home in the states is spent on acquiring things to make my life more pleasant. I work to support my home, my wife (the kids being grown now), my dog and the plethora of “stuff” that keeps us happy and content. When I am down here, it all seems so petty.
We don’t often encounter poverty in America. Sure, we run into the occasional homeless person in Boston, or other major city, but I can tell you from years of working in ministry, even a stint in full time street ministry in Worcester, that our homeless are wealthy compared to the people here. I don’t mean to minimize the devastation of being homeless in the states, it is a travesty, but here, the poor are truly poor. There are no shelters, no programs, no food stamps, no unemployment benefits. With the exception of the missions and humanitarian organizations that are scattered throughout Haiti, there is nothing for the millions of hungry, desperate people here to give them hope.
I get bummed out when I can’t get Sunday’s pre-season Patriot’s game on ESPN because I only pay for basic cable. Here, people get bummed out because they don’t get a solid meal on any given Sunday.
It seems so petty to think that my life, so isolated by the prosperity of America, can be frustrating and depressing when times get “tough”. “Tough” is a relative term. Often in the US it translates to “uncomfortable”, but here the term is redefined by the abject poverty I see every day during my stay.
It just seems like our perspective on life is so skewed by the wealth of opportunity and massive amounts of resources we have available to us back home. So many Americans are clueless to the plight of the truly poor in our world. As much as I have done in the past 12 years to help the cause of the people of Haiti, I still feel humbled by the every present need of these people. I don’t want to remain “clueless”, I want to make a difference.
End rambling. Maybe I can sleep now.