Week 2 team: wrap-up
Home! We made it back on Saturday night, a few minutes early, even. Our return trip was uneventful (always a good thing when you're traveling by air), and we are glad to be back, but it is always a time for mixed emotions when you return home after a week of laboring alongside people who have become good friends, in a place that you have come to love, even though life there is much less comfortable than home. It was difficult to say goodbye to our Haitian friends, too; this is, however, one of the best things about our relationship with Kids Alive Haiti--we have an ongoing, long-term relationship with the staff and many of the children at the KA Children's Village in Cap Haitien, and it is an investment that has made a difference in the lives of children at risk, and in our lives as well.
The problems that Haiti faces are complex and difficult. The solutions are usually not as simple as sending more money or resources, although those things can be helpful. Ways of solving problems that may seem logical and effective for North Americans might not make any sense at all in Haiti, and it takes time and effort to understand the differences in culture that separate us from Haiti far more than the hundreds of miles of open water between our lands.
But little by little, some children who would not otherwise have had any hope at all are finding hope. Some children who would otherwise have been lost to any number of sad fates in a desperately poor place now have families in which they are loved. Some children who might otherwise have died are being cared for, fed, educated, and given a shot at learning a trade that may allow them to be part of the 20% of Haitians who have jobs. And most importantly, some children are learning that there is a God who loves them, and who sent his son Jesus to die for them and give them new life. The staff of Kids Alive, the short-term missionaries who travel to these sorts of places and serve, and people like you who give and pray and support us are making very real differences in the lives of children who are among the poorest of the poor. There are few things any of us can do in life that bring us nearer to the heart of God than this.
So again we say thank you for your many prayers--we know the Lord honored your prayers in many ways we have seen, and surely in many ways we can't see yet. Thank you to our loved ones for being willing to deal with us being away, for taking care of things while we were gone, for loving us and supporting us in so many ways. For those of you who sponsor children in Haiti, know that what you do makes a huge difference in the lives of children.
If you would like to be involved in this work in any way, whether through child sponsorship, providing resources, or perhaps through short- or long-term missionary service, you may contact Kids Alive directly, or you may contact Lawrence Free Methodist Church for more information.
(Here's a greeting from the boys who received the soccer uniforms we brought with us to Haiti:)
Doug Heacock, for the week 2 team