Report by Ben Skoog
Today in Z’Orange, Haiti, was simultaneously familiar but unusual. The parts known were that people are people wherever you go and the same motivations, desires and yearnings span across the world. The desire to belong, the striving for acceptance and the comfort of camaraderie are as prevalent in the mountains of Haiti as they are in the suburbs of Nashville, TN.
We had the pleasure to teach young people about Christ through familiar storytelling, singing and crafts, and the only real difference was we took time to translate back and forth. Otherwise, kids are kids, teens are teens and adults are whatever they are. It was unusual to tread on uneven ground, not understand what is being said to you and to be mostly misunderstood…but that happens at home as well, so this was no different in that aspect. However, simply showing up and having a smile seemed like half the trick, so while the environment was a bit unusual, the situation was quite familiar.
Perseverance and consistency seem to be common threads at TEM, also to embrace the notion that Christ’s work is ongoing and requires focus and faith. While we may wish we could accomplish everything in one trip, it’s apparent that the needs in Haiti are deep and of long standing, and chief among them is true belief in Christ. Water, food, shelter and education are basic elements in need of repair or construction as well, but these systems and processes will be best served when built on a foundation of belief. Fortunately, Christ called a variety of people to this part of His world, and all needs can be addressed if we major on the majors and minor on the minors. So far, a good day and start to the week.