I think the open questions in everyones mind boil down to this.
1. Are we (outside visitors, aid workers, missionaries) making a difference in Haiti?
2. Are there any signs that there is a hope for the future of Haiti?
To answer that, I thought I’d just share some observations from my week that I feel are signs of hope.
– there is hope, not despair, in the eyes of the children. Everywhere we go, smiles from kids greet us.
– tent cities seem to be getting their acts together. You kind of rate tent cities like hotels… A star system of sorts. We’ve seen none of the 1 star tent cities (the ones made of sticks and sheets) you see a lot of 3 star ones with well-constructed tents, water systems, latrines, schools, and even play areas.
– commerce is everywhere. We saw hundreds of small business owners. Many run simple shops selling gum or sodas… But the desire to run a store is huge! We also ran into many men using their trades to turn garbage into money. People are recycling rebar to turn it into grills. They are turning smashed cars into bridges. They are turning cans into piggy banks.all of these are great signs. Desperation leads to innovation.
– play is coming back. All week I’ve carried a soccer ball in my backpack. And we’ve played hours of simple soccer games with kids. Earlier today we came across a soccer field and watched actual organized soccer.
– churches have stayed full. I’m actually writing this post while our host church has night worship. The service started 3.5 hours ago. When the pastors house filled up people spilled into the streets. Over one hundred people have spent all night worshipping Jesus. The revival we saw in February was not just temporal. God is still calling people to Himself through Jesus.
– the past is the past. No one seems to care about things pre-January 12th. They seem very intent in the future of their nation.
– the youth don’t want to flee. Our team has been served by 4-5 wonderful translators every day. These talented and bright men want to stay here. They aren’t interested in moving to America. Instead, they want to help rebirth their nation.
– there is no complaining. Before we came here we heard a lot about people growing tired of the government not acting. I’ve not heard that this week. Instead, I’ve seen people taking action to work on true circumstances.
Sure, things aren’t significantly better than 6 months ago. And there is much left to do… But there is still hope in their air here in Haiti.