Monday, June 13, 2011

Reflections on the week....Sustainability

From Pete:

Sustainability...but let me digress for a moment. On my way up to the Roberts' house from the Chadasha guest house, in the still of the night, I caught a glimpse of what I thought was a rat. That's cool - I'm not scared of rats. Then Michelle says to me about the thing that is scurrying toward my feet, "Look, a tarantula." It was the size of a large grapefruit. It wanted to eat my leg. Can I have another pair of underwear, please? You have never seen Peter Cobb scream like a little school girl as I did that night.

Having been to Haiti three times now, I can only help but ask myself the question, "Is what I am doing making an eternal difference?" After all, Haiti has always seen a flood of aid and evangelism, yet the ride home each night serves as a reminder of past failures. Still, Haitians as a populace have little hope. Salvation lies in the balance for most.

So what is the key to success? Sustainability. Only until we have continued support of Haitians helping Haitians will me make a difference. Let me illustrate the point. If a mission team comes down to help a clinic by putting in a water filtration system, that is a good and worthy cause. The patients at that clinic now have fresh water - a hallmark of healthy living and a key to eradicating many disease states.  Yet the team does not leave directions on how to care for the system if it breaks down or educate how to change out the filters or manage their cost.  Over time the filtration system breaks down and simply sits in the clinic unused.

This is what we as mission teams have done. With good intentions we come to this beautiful country only to set up an infrastructure that is doomed to fail. We come and go and cannot be relied upon for sustained help. Imagine counting upon someone only to see them go and never return.

The leadership of The Chadasha Foundation understands that it must be Haitians who raise up Haiti.  The Apparent Project,  the group with which we partnered to provide medical care via a mobile clinic,  follows the blueprint for impacting Haiti in a sustainable way.  Please visit their website, which states:

"The Apparent Project artisans guild uses discarded materials such as cereal and cracker boxes, oil drums, and trash paper to create beautiful “upcycled” pieces of jewelry, journals, and stylish home decor. While redeeming the Haitian landscape, these artisans are also bringing new hope to their families, employing themselves for a brighter future and earning the means to pay for their children's food, shelter, and education. That means less orphans, less crime, less garbage, less stress, and a whole lot more beauty."

This is making a lasting impression and allowing Haitians to climb out of poverty and support their families. Brilliant and simple. Successful. Lasting. 

All is needed is servant leaders: people willing to give all of the glory to Him and take none for themselves; people who come behind the beautiful people of Haiti and lift them up so that they have the stature and strength to lift up other Haitians. 

May God strip me of any and all desire to be praised for this past week. I am ashamed at times for even feeling good about myself because I am here. Bonje bene ou Haiti! May God bless you. I will be back!

Patient we saw during clinic at The Apparent Project. She was carried over a mile from her home by recent flooding.

Joyce, Joy and George at the "pharmacy."

Beautiful necklaces made by the artisans at The Apparent Project.


Dr. Jenny said...

Amen Pete!

Tim Patterson said...

Well said!

evonne6kid said...

very well said. my heart yearns to be in haiti, to help, to teach, to whatever. my life here dictates otherwise. thanks for posting so I can still feel a part of the progress being made

Gina said...

I have enjoyed your posts. It helps us see how things really are over there. You are doing wonderful things. I do have to say, I laughed out loud at the part where Pete was describing the rat/grapefruit/tarantula. I just can't imagine Dr. Peter Cobb screaming like a school girl - haha.