For several months prior to this trip to Haiti, I began following the Livesay Weblog. They are a Minnesota family that lives in Port au Prince and works with Heartline Ministries. Tara (and occasionally Troy) document their experiences and share a true picture of their life in this land. They have biological children and adopted children and they tell the tales of their family life with honesty and inspiration.
Their blog was probably most influential in preparing us for our time here. We had a glimpse of what to expect from their posts about the people and the poverty and the work of short term and long term missions. We arrived knowing that we needed to come with open hearts and a willingness to learn and love. We left our agendas at home and came to Haiti to become immersed in this life.
Today we actually had the opportunity to meet with Troy and tour the programs and facilities that make up Heartline Ministries. What a blessing! He showed us around with kindness and patience, giving explanations as we went. Heartline’s intent is to provide education and empowerment to women, in order to help them raise their babies and become self-sufficient. We met with Beth McHoul, one of the founders of this ministry (she has lived and worked in Haiti for 21 years!) and you could immediately feel her passion and joy for her work. We saw mamas and their babes leaving their child-development class, seamstresses working on pillows, an artisan making beads for a necklace, a nurse giving a medical exam, babies sleeping in brightly colored-cozy bedrooms, young mothers nursing their little ones, a chicken coop/fish pond/rooftop garden and a “Haitian Creations” gift shop where Bree found a few treasures.
Our conversation on the way home centered around the needs of the people of Haiti and the lack of support from some of this country’s own. It was bothering Rock that some of those with “means” in this place are not giving back to those in need. He shared how those with little are often the most generous, sharing a meal or whatever a friend may need, yet many of the ones with much give so little back to help. It makes me ponder what we as Christians are called to do… “to him whom much has been given, much is required.” Am I giving enough? How am I to respond to the needs that I may see in my own neighborhood or city or country? It has opened my eyes to the needs here, but how do I take this home? How will it make me live on a day-to-day basis? I hope I do not forget. I hope my heart will be open.