Our activity for Wednesday afternoon was slated as a walk to the bay. Sounds fun, beautiful, and relaxing after many days of work.
But my heart was torn in two on that unassuming walk.
You see as we walked through their neighborhood toward the sea, curious children began to gather and join our walking group. These weren't the children we had seen all week in their brightly colored uniforms, these are children who don't go to school.
Children who don't own any shoes.
Children who were wearing only t-shirts with no underwear or pants.
Children's whose first words to me were "I'm hungry."
Quickly our small group of walkers became a crowd, all curious with one another, sharing in the beauty before us, and around us.
My mind could not comprehend this very small child, accompanied only by her big brother, all of about 10 years old, in charge of her. He knowingly scooped her up and she quickly fell asleep in his arms.
And another piece of my heart chipped off, falling to the beach in Haiti.
But in the next instant, as I turned my camera, children were yelling "photo", "photo", one of their only English words. Oh how they loved the camera, this brick around my neck that's value could feed an entire village for a year. As quickly as my heart was wounded, it was lifted sky high again with the silly antics of children and adults alike having fun on a beach in Haiti, without the luxury of the same language.
...and oh how we all laughed at that silly last minute foot insertion into the photo, good for the soul when the heart has taken on more than it can bear.
As we began to walk back our 30 minute trek to the center, my heart could not hold any more.
The difference in our realities, as stark as the contrast of our skin, hurts in the deepest of places. I have everything I ever need....................she is lucky to get a few meals a week. We emptied our backpacks of any food we had along and distributed it amongst the children. My animal cookies would be the closest thing to her meal for the day.
I separated myself from the pack as the beautiful children who had joined us eventually found their way back to their homes along the way. They smiled and waved, and my tears were unstoppable.
THIS was not God's intention for His people, His creation. Sin ruined it, and these precious souls carry the burden of others sins....of the leader of this nation once dedicating it to Satan. And they hunger....for food AND the salvation of Christ.
As I've returned home, I continue to praise God for the man he has lifted up in Haiti to make a difference. Won't you join me in supporting Pastor Manno in his ministry? Give as you can to the Haitian Christian Ministries. I promise you, it is an eternal investment!