I never thought there would be something that would impact me as it had on the first day in Haiti. Yesterday our team drove a water truck into the worst areas of Cite Soleil, "City of the Sun." As we drove hanging on the side of the truck I was awe struck at what I was seeing, the devastation, the garbage, the naked kids, the sick, the hungry, the ......everything you can think of. I just kept thinking how much more could I see that would affect me, how much more is there , until we slowed down and Maxime our driver honked the big air horn. At first I thought a car was in our way as I had heard hundreds of horns already. Then I heard a longer sustaining horn and noticed what was going on.
Kids from all sides started emerging from their tattered tents and rusted shacks, jumping and screaming in the same fashion as I had witnessed driving a fire truck. What came over my heart next shook me to my core. This was all happening because of water, it was then when I cried behind my sunglasses. This was such a basic need, something so simple yet these children of God had little to none. They continued running, screaming and smiling right at us and I kept trying to hide my eyes and smile back. From that moment on it went in a blur of mismatched emotions.
We filled hundreds of buckets of water, delivering them deep into row after row of crowded shacks, averaging in size by 8 feet by 8 feet filled with families. We would deliver water to shacks that had ocean front property completely overtaken by garbage, human waste and many other things that are simply unidentifiable. We walked by a woman in labor, children so crippled they could not move and countless mothers offering their children up for a better life with us in America.
As I said before, the day went by in a blur of mismatched of emotions. We all should be sad and full of despair, but that was not the case for them. Everyone we met smiled and greeted us with Bon Jou or "Good morning." Their lives are full of daily struggles for simple things I take for granted. Children sick and malnourished, but they are full of life and smiles. On a walk we took through the city we would sing Hallelujah and the children would sing it back with a smile and a laugh followed by Bondye, Creole for God.. Hallelujah to God. I am amazed these people we encountered have had everything taken away from them, yet all I hear is "Glory to God" and "Honor to God in the Highest."
We went to three separate places in Cite Soleil and left each one with children hanging on us, still smiling and all of us with breaking hearts.
Lord I am so thankful for my experiences here, your willingness to use me in any way you see how and for transforming me into something a new.
Brian McNeill - Healing Haiti Member