Friday, March 06, 2009
If you've read blogs about Haiti for very long you've likely heard both negative and positive things about the culture, the people, and the country itself. At times it is easy to fall into a trap of seeing only the negative, the insurmountable and the difficult.
Troy and I work hard to see the good in people and to see past culture and poverty to the heart of God's people. If we can set aside our frustrations, we can see much good. Sometimes God even helps us see it .... Last night He did just that.
Yesterday I asked Jeronne if she would be willing to wash Randy's clothes so that when he returns to Haiti in two weeks he can use them. Jeronne of course said, "yes no problem". I gave her the five U.S. dollars Randy left for her to do his small amount of laundry. She seemed happy for the chance to make a little extra.
Last night as we got ready to sing to Noah and give him his gifts Jeronne came up to Noah and said in Creole - "Noah, I did not have time to buy you a gift but I want to give you this." She then put the five dollar bill in Noah's pocket.
Five dollars to you and I is not a lot. In the Haitian economy it's much more. Jeronne was our example of generosity and love this week. We are humbled by her example.
There are many websites and locations where you can go read about Haiti and learn that "The average person makes $1 a day." It is as common as reading "The poorest country in the Western Hemisphere" when you read any description about Haiti.
Over and over again we see ministries quoting this statistic about the $1 per day the average Haitian makes. *SOME* of those very same ministries are the ones PAYING $1 a day. We are not suggesting they need to pay a wage that does not match up with the economy, but we are suggesting that to go on and on about the poor Haitians who only make a buck a day ... And then turn around and pay them $30 for a month of work is both ugly and wrong. It makes me very angry.
If a ministry claims to be here in Haiti to "be Jesus to the people" then they ought to start by taking a good hard look at how they treat their employees. I am pretty sure Jesus would not say "what is the least we can pay them?" - something I hate to admit I have heard a mission leader say. Jesus is not cheap. Not my Jesus.
My Jesus is generous and I want to be too.