Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Real Hunger

I can't tell you how often we receive a response like this to our ministry:

'We all know how much a bible weighs, can you imagine how much rice you could ship in its place ....'  ~Liam from Ireland.

Liam, your comment is a valid response, but your understanding is lacking. We don't ship the Bibles, we buy them in-country. You can also buy rice at any market in any village in Haiti, and the 30 year-old approach to just bringing food has obviously not provided a solution. Haiti doesn't need another hand out. Her people need a hand up. Your shipping a bag of rice actually only contributes to the unraveling of an already fragile trade. I've stood and watched an 85 year-old great grandmother working in the rice fields near my village. Your bag of rice, while it may give you a certain sense of relief, only hurts her and her family and the little income they make on her family's farm. It affects the markets and only serves to weaken the will. In reality, its exactly your response and attitude that has contributed to failing the country. I agree, from the outside looking in, it seems the most logical answer, but the answer is actually found in giving them hope, something to live for, joy and a peace that passes all understanding. That only comes from Jesus Christ. A bag of rice lasts a family of 8 less than a month. Then what, Liam? What about 3 months, 4 months down the road? How about next year? 

Our decision to serve Haiti is to provide something of eternal value. Something that changes the course not only of ones life, but of their eternity. I've handed out the Bibles. I've seen people walk for 10 miles down a mountain for the first Bible in their family's history. I've seen them cradle it like a newborn baby, even smell the pages. They have a hunger for which you have no understanding. 

The purpose of a Christian is not only to love and to serve, running kids to the hospital, buying rice and oil, and sponsoring kids for school. The purpose is the reason behind that love, because Jesus called us to serve. My family and I have moved to Haiti and given up our way of life. A bag of rice is in truth a simple excuse to a greater issue of the heart. If you don't believe me, decide to put your life on hold. Go to Haiti. Live there. Love there. Tell me after a year or so if you still feel the same way. 

1 comment: