Haiti, is it Worth it?
Short-term mission participation in the American church has grown significantly in the past several years. Thanks to the 24-hour news cycle and the internet, we are now more globally aware than ever before. The evangelical church is far more engaged in justice issues than ever before. All of this knowledge and involvement has spawned many to begin to ask how relevant and appropriate our responses and contributions have been. In light of this, I would like to take the next several months and engage Love in Motion’s particular involvement in Haiti. Each month we will look at a specific aspect of our ministry, looking at why we do what we do. We will begin by looking at a question that I have been asked several times, “Haiti, is it worth it?”
Yes. Now because I do not want to be dismissive of the sentiment behind the question, I will engage the concern. The root of this question is mostly grounded in the concern that we have thrown all kinds of money, people and resources over the years at Haiti and it seems little to no progress is made. Well, there is some truth to this. Billions of dollars, tens of thousands of missionaries and non-faith based NGO’s have all been our response in to Haiti. Many countries have sent aid in various formats, and those who have witnessed this, cannot attest to many significant changes. Sometimes it even feels like two steps backward one step forward.
For centuries, Haiti has been unable to overcome corruption (some self induced, some imposed by others), poor product export, even less investment from foreign business, deforestation, natural disasters, epidemics and the darkness of voodoo. Placed on a scale, it seems as if the negatives are outweighing the good. So why is the answer yes? Because Haiti is more than the geographical location. More than the sum of it’s problems. When we talk aid and support we are really talking about people, and people matter to God. So much so that He is sent His Son to remedy the relationship. I believe that God is not done with Haiti. My good friend Franceli Joseph, a Haitian national, once prayed that Haiti would be a blessing to the nations. God has already mobilized missionaries from Haiti and sent them to other shores that the name of Christ would be glorified and He is not done. Ministry is hard in Haiti. Life is hard in Haiti. But God’s Kingdom is advancing around the world and that includes the work He is doing in Haiti. So yes, Haiti is worth it. It is worth the struggle. Every country is worth the struggle because every person is worth the struggle. God never promised easy, but He did promise His presence. It is with this confidence that we minister to and with Haitians.