Friday, October 07, 2011

Getting ready for Haiti

I'm starting to get excited about heading down to Haiti.  I was there this past March and it was a life changing experience.  I went down there with a guy I barely knew named Bill and we became fast friends; making an odd pair with a 70ish year old man and me, the young punk - two white american guys standing out like sore thumbs. We stayed with Tom and Facilta and family and I got to know the rest of the crew to the left like family.

This time, I'm heading down with a group of people from my church. It's a fabulously diverse group from an 18 year old to  70+ year olds , including some great friends of mine and some that I don't know at all.  We're leaving next Thursday and will be coming back the following Thursday night.

I went down the first time to see and learn and try and figure out where I could help.  My plan was to go back this time and make a difference, and I was gung-ho to make sure we had giant plans to do so.  At our team meeting, my pastor and friend, Joe Muzzi, gave me a chapter to read from the book When Helping Hurts (How to alleviate poverty without hurting the poor and yourself).  We talked a lot about how to support those people on the front lines in Haiti, humility in our approach and looking at this as an opportunity to learn from the people we're down there with.  The piece that's really messing with my head is my view of poverty in Haiti - well, really materialism.  When I was down there, I felt sad for the total lack of possessions I saw around me and the total poverty I was witnessing.  The book flipped a switch in my head and made me realize that I see the lack of possessions as this as a negative state of existence and got me thinking about how I live and what I value.  I want to go down there and learn from the people I'm around the answer to this question:
"How is it that you're so happy with so little?"

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