Written from Haiti by Melanie Thomas, RN, June 2008 team member:
The moment we set foot in Haiti last Friday night our senses went into overload. It reminded me of the very first time I traveled to Haiti. There is so much to absorb.
Traveling up to Terre Blanche on Saturday we saw the overwhelming poverty. We smelled the charcoal fires burning, the garbage burning, and the food cooking all in one spot. You could almost taste the smells.
We passed many small streams and could see people gathering drinking water from the same source their animals were drinking from and defecating in. This is also the same water that the women bathe their children in and wash their clothes and dishes in. I remembered thinking, back in 1994 when I first traveled here, “Why on earth would someone move to Haiti? Let alone go into a community with a compassionate heart and a selfless smile? How can I really make a difference?”
Then I began to understand the compassion and love. I began to understand this driven desire to help a hurting people who seem to have been forgotten. As we drove to Terre Blanche on Saturday my eyes were once again opened to the good of Haiti.
Everyone needs Haiti. Among its poverty is a wealth of faith, a gem of God’s goodness and the innocent love of Jesus Christ. Everyone needs Haiti. We need Haiti to remind us of the abundance of God’s blessings. We need Haiti to humble us and to bring us closer in our relationship with Jesus. We need Haiti for transformation.
The team is absolutely wonderful. The cohesiveness among everyone here cannot be outdone. As exhausted as everyone was tonight coming upstairs from the busy clinic day, we all are filled and have smiles on our faces.
Much love to all our friends and family.