Living in Haiti has given me opportunities to walk shoulder to shoulder with people that I would consider heroes. I’ve seen their lives and heard their words and watched when they found themselves in places that seem more nightmarish than reality. I’ve seen Haitians, especially due to the 2010 earthquake, suffer unimaginable tragedy but refuse to give up or give in to what had happened to them.
These heroes are just ordinary folks. They aren’t superstars but rather folks that daily make decisions to do the right thing, even when it could be the hardest thing.
There is a Haitian lady that I have known for about 10 years, who for some undiagnosed reason has not been able to walk since 2002. Life in Haiti, especially for the poor, often has more questions than answers. It isn’t unusual for me to hear of someone I know or know of that has died, and when I ask the reason for the death, I am told something like,”The person had a bellyache or headache, went to the hospital and died.”
When I asked this lady why she can’t walk, she told me that she started having cramps and then after a few months couldn’t walk. And that is that, except for this lady it isn’t. She says that she was born in 1955 and that she’s 69 year old. So she really isn’t sure which is not unusual here in Haiti. She lives with her daughter who is in her 30s and that, of course, is a story in itself.
This lady, although not able to walk, is quite active and productive. She has a garden where she grows vegetables. She does this by scooting along on the ground, tilling the soil with a machete and planting and watering the seeds, all by getting around by dragging herself along by her hands.
Recently we had a group with us comprised of college instructors and students. We had this lady teach the group how to take apart flour sacks strand by strand and then make ropes from the strands. She does all this while sitting on the ground. She will spends hours a day doing this and then she sells the 10 foot or so rope for about 50 cents USD.
We have a heart for her and others that against great odds don’t give up. She isn’t interested in living off of charity. She wants to work and be productive. It may be what keeps her alive.
We can help her best by placing orders for ropes and by buying the produce from her garden and the peanut butter she makes. Experience has taught us that long-term handouts don’t work and if anything makes for more dependence.
We are committed to strengthening families by helping with education, by providing jobs and job training, by purchasing from those like the rope making lady, by teaching biblical principles by which to live and by showing the love of Jesus in word and in deed.
Help us help others. Help us by strengthening families. Help us provide jobs so people can be independent. Self sufficiency leads to a better community. A family where mother, father, and children live together help make a culture strong. Help from Heartline can be a springboard for a family to be successful. When parents keep their children and can provide for them the country will start to take a different shape. So in that sense, when you give monthly to help Heartline strengthen families, you help make Haiti a stronger, better country. What difference can $25 a month make? All the difference in the world. Let’s change Haiti for the better, together! Click here to help Heartline Strengthen Families!
As our rope making friend knows “A cord of three strands is not easily broken”. Families, Heartline and You!