Last night, as with many other nights in Haiti, I tried not to go outside during the early evening hours. I don’t go outside mainly due to the throng of people who travel from local villages because they have heard about the “whites” group that is visiting Double Harvest. They want something, anything that we can give them. Usually it is a soccer ball, or shoes, or even food.
There is no way we can meet the all of the needs and after a long day of very hard work, it can be almost too much to bear. Last night for some reason was different for me. I made my way out to the terrace as some friends from past visits had made their way to see trip veterans and make friends with the fresh faces in the group. This was not normal for me, because we veterans know not to get caught in this potential never ending request for soccer balls. I walked to the rail and listened to the chorus of “Bwent, give me a ball” in harmony with “Hey, you”. Something was a bit off, though. There in the midst of this bartering for soccer balls was a young mother with a half naked infant.
She looked at me with eyes of need. She didn’t say any words…she didn’t have to say any words. I grabbed a couple of the ladies and they sprang into action. Within two minutes, we had her inside the gate and had given her diapers, and food, and baby clothes, and a blanket. Her overwhelmed face and faded eyes gave way to a grateful smile.
We all felt better about what we had done and our 5 minutes was about to be over with this pair and we were about to go on our way when suddenly our attention went to her feet. We had been completely oblivious to what had been one of her greatest needs of all. Her feet were worn, dirty, and bare. She had walked over a mile to see us with no promise of any thing with bare feet and an infant. We looked up in a bit of surprise and Jennifer Heady quickly pushed her shoes to the lady and I have no doubt that they were made for her. They fit as if a master craftsman had spent hours working on them for her and her only. As she left and we wiped tears from our eyes, we realized we had ministered to her physically, but she had also ministered to us spiritually. The need is so great that it can at times be overwhelming, but as someone mentioned in our share time this evening, we are planting seeds for A Greater Tomorrow.