Thursday, April 19, 2012

herbie...and a little more about haiti...

this is herbie...
he was with us during our time in haiti a couple of weeks ago.  he is a haitian man in his mid-twenties with a wife and daughter.  his little girl is 4...just a few months older than my lucy.  she is precious, a glowing spirit...
...i want to take lucy to meet her.  as soon as i can get her grandparents past the fact that she wouldn't be able to ride in a carseat and would have to sleep under mosquito netting i'm booking her ticket.  i think they would have fun together.  


herbie speaks english and works for the mission as an interpreter when he's not in school.  he attends a local university where he is getting his degree in business.  he is a graduate of the school at MOH.  he is one of many children in his family...but the only one to graduate from high school and go on to university.  when i asked him why he said it was because he heard about MOH's school when he was a boy and decided he was going to go.  he was persistent and willing to walk the distance between his village and the school...day after day...year after year.  he also said that he was fortunate to have people who have helped to provide the money needed for his education.  he doesn't take that lightly.  


so - like me - herbie speaks english, is married, has a daughter, values education, wears jeans and tennis shoes, uses a cell phone...but when he took us to visit his village i realized how vastly different our lives really are. 


herbie lives in source matelas {pronounced 'sus matla'} - a village right up the road from MOH {which is located in titayen}.  his family and his wife's family are both from this village.  herbie lives in a little area behind this door with his wife, daughter, and several other members of his wife's family...
this is the structure that his in-laws lived in prior to the earthquake...it is not livable now...
the structures that his family are living in are made up of cardboard and tin and really whatever materials they can piece together for the time being.  herbie didn't complain about it...he only said that it does get really hot in there.  he said that as he gets money he is gradually working on the house for his family.  he is also working on a house for his mother who lives in another part of the village.


this is his beautiful family...
i love the contrast between his daughter's joyful grin-covered face and his wife's stoic stare.  many women in haiti walk around with this same expression on their faces.  when i asked one of the americans living there about this she said that she believes that as they grow up the women become hardened...they almost have to in order to survive.  that made me sad.  it also made me want to learn to speak haitian creole so that i could go back and have a conversation with stefanie {herbie's wife}.  i know she has a story and i know she probably has so much tucked away in her heart.  unfortunately i don't think they have rosetta stone for haitian creole.  but i'll find a way...


that's really what this whole partnership with MOH is all about.  our church plans to develop a long-term partnership in which we take 3 or 4 trips to haiti a year where we will spend time in a specific village.  i hope our village will be source matelas.  we've aleady begun to pave the way for relationships there.  can you imagine?  really knowing the families.  hearing their stories.  sharing our own.  walking through life together.  leveraging all the resources we have to empower them...and being completely changed ourselves in the process.


as part of this partnership we would also provide financial support for all the amazing work that MOH is doing in these villages.  i can honestly say that i have never worked with another organization with more integrity and clarity of vision than MOH.  they have stuck to the same mission they established 13 years ago and are truly transforming the poorest country in the western hemisphere - one life at a time.  one village at a time.  what a privilege to be a part of something so significant.