Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Life in Haiti

I really have no idea what life in Haiti is like.

However, I have known for a long time that it is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, and that it shares an island with the Dominican Republic (Hispaniola).

Those facts once boggled my mind; how could this poor nation be so close to a country with such a booming tourism business? The Dominican is able to pull many tourists in with its beautiful beaches, resorts and all-inclusive deals. Shouldn't there be money there? And shouldn't Haitians be able to profit from this as well?

But no, the resorts are not owned by locals, and thus, the money made does not help locals.

The majority of vacation spots are owned by foreigners who do employ locals, but these employees are not paid well.

I took a course called "Ethics of Tourism" in my fourth year at Laurier and wrote a paper on this topic (and am very passionate about it!), however, that is not the topic of this post.

Haiti is a very poor nation and I have no idea what it is like to live there. This is because I was born in one of the richest countries in the Western Hemisphere.

Nonetheless, many people were born there, and are being born there every day. I have the luxury to be able to ignore this poverty, but I cannot.

Joel and I recently sponsored a 5-year-old boy from Haiti through World Vision. I don't want to post his name or picture but he is a beautiful child.

I don't know too much about him, but I do know that both of his parents are unemployed, and that he is a HOPE child, meaning that he has been impacted by HIV/AIDS in some ways.

I pray for him constantly. I pray that we may have a positive impact on his life, and that God will watch over him.

Each night, as I lay snug in my bed, I wonder if this sweet and innocent boy is comfortable. Is he too hot? Is it noisy? Is he hungry?

This child has parents, but I also know that around the world, there are millions of orphans, many because of poverty; many because the HIV/AIDS crisis. This absolutely breaks my heart. However, I know that these are God's precious children and that He loves them.

I don't know why, but God has blessed me immensely. I pray that I can use the blessings and gifts that He has given me to further His kingdom. I pray that I will not change the channel when I hear of devastation in other countries, that I will not just sing. I pray that God will move me into action.

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