Saturday, May 11, 2013

I grew up in a small rural Minnesota town as the son of a charismatic preacher. One of the benefits of this experience was meeting missionaries from all over the world. They would come to the church to raise support - we would always host them at the house for a meal. I grew up hearing secondhand accounts including inspiring stories from India, Africa, China, the mountains of Mexico, all the way to Eastern Europe and its struggle with communism and faith. I've since been to many of those places.

I came to Haiti for the first time four days ago. In terms of my heart and faith, it truly may as well have been a lifetime ago. The single difference for me is simply this: the third world has been a single "problem" my whole life.  It weighed on me as something big, confusing, and impossible. Until yesterday. We were delivering three tanker-sized truck loads of water to Cite Soleil where I held the face of a two year old in my hands. I looked deep in to his beautiful, deep brown eyes and saw my own two year old son.

The single problem of poverty mushroomed in the span of one single, life-changing connection with someone whose name I don't even know. Instead of something singular, it became billions. The story of world-wide poverty became for me the names and faces of 80% of the world - but as individuals who each have a soul and a story. It landed on me like a weight I have never felt. As I hugged the water hose, watching desperate people clamor to fill dirty buckets with clean water, I wrapped both arms around it as if it held my salvation.

Poverty is not the reality. People are. hey live in poverty. And we can help.

Giving back is greater than. Period.

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