Posted by: rundadrun | July 7, 2010

We just don’t understand.

There is a Haitian proverb that says, “The rock in the water does not know the pain of the rock in the sun”.  This was the devotional thought that Ken Bever, the founder of Hope For Haiti’s Children, shared with us during our first morning in Port au Prince.  I am sure that if I had not seen the sights of the evening before, I would not have understood these words without giving them a lot of thought.  But the drive through the absolute poverty and devastation, followed by the visit to the HFHC orphanage at Cazeau, changed me forever.  I had seen poverty and destruction, but never on this scale.  We passed a tent city just outside the airport (which itself was quite damaged), and my heart started to hurt.  I saw children washing in filthy water, women doing dishes in that same filthy water, pigs eating garbage on the side of the road and more trash than I thought was possible.

Upon arriving at the orphanage, I was amazed that we were greeted with songs of welcome and hundreds of little kisses.  I lost track of the number of times I was kissed on the cheek, hugged and thanked in Creole within the first couple of minutes.  It struck me that these children were happy, despite all they had been through. They were thankful for having a home and food and for the most basic things in life that I have mostly taken for granted.  They sang their thanks and showed their love for us in a way that brought all of us to tears.

Welcome to Cazeau!

When we arrived, all 65+ children and the adults who run the orphanage were still sleeping in a large tent behind the dorms for fear of another earthquake destroying the dorms. One of the blessings that we got to take part in was an actual blessing.  The members at the Northeast Church of Christ in Cincinnati had donated enough bed sheet sets to outfit all the beds that didn’t have any sheets.  After the beds were made up with the bright new sheets, several of us were able to go into one of the rooms and offer a prayer of blessing on the dorms and the kids.  Our last night in Haiti was their first night back in their dorms and off the ground.  I take for granted every night that my home will be a safe haven through the night.   I continue to prayer for the children to have the peace that only God can provide as they sleep in their own beds every night.

Over the next 4 days, we traveled to the outlying villages where we had schools. we visited with the kids and the teachers and ministers there.  One of my favorite memories of this part of the trip was getting to distribute much needed food to all the kids and their families.  I have never felt more like I was doing God’s work than I did while we were giving out bags of beans, rice and spaghetti.  I was reminded of the importance of this task when Jeantyard Elmera shared with us another Haitian proverb that says, “A hungry child cannot hear”.  I feel like I was given an opportunity to live out the story from Matthew 25:31-46.  I will never be the same because of it.

The proverb of the rock brought home that even though we can be witness to the Haitian people’s plight, and we can do everything we can to help where we can, we can never fully understand what they are going through.  After all, we get to go home, they ARE home.  When I travel in the states,  I would never accept a  room like the ones I was blessed to stay in in Haiti.  I mean after all, I barely had running water in the shower and the air conditioning didn’t come on until AFTER 7 PM!  But it is hard to complain about such luxuries being absent when you have children around you who have absolutely nothing.

God opened my eyes on this trip to some amazing things.  I will be forever touched by what I saw and experienced.  My prayer is that as we move forward with our work at HFHC, we will be able to ease the suffering a little for some of the poorest people on earth.  It is ironic that those of us who went on this short trip to Haiti were given such a wonderful gift by these beautiful children, and they probably think they are the lucky ones.

Bondye bon,




  1. Rob, I am glad you had a safe trip, and that you are home. I am sure you have life long memories that you would not have had otherwise. I am proud of the work you have done. Charla 🙂

    • Hi Charla,
      Thanks for the kind words. I know that I will never forget what we saw and did in Haiti.. Hopefully I can help others see what a great work is being done through HFHC. God bless and glad you had a great tour of Italy. Thanks for watching out for Gary. 🙂

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