Anyone who has been to Haiti knows how incredibly kind the Haitians are. It doesn’t matter whether they know you or not. When you walk down the street you are greeted with a smile and a wave! It doesn’t matter if they’re in a deep conversation – when you lock eyes – they stop talking and kindly yell out – Bonjou! Bonswa!
When our family first visited here – our truck got stuck in the mud. We were surrounded by corn fields and there wasn’t a Haitian to be found. Out of no where all these people walked through the corn stalks! It felt a little like – Children of the Corn! Ha! But they got behind the truck and helped push us out of the mud. They were COVERED in mud and never asked us for a dime. They were just happy to help.
Recently we were in St. Louis. We had just come back from the Catalyst Conference and we were taking the truck from Port-de-Paix to Mole. The problem was the river was up. The only way to cross was by boat. There were three young guys who stopped by our truck and asked if they could help. These three boys were from my father’s mission – Waves of Mercy. I didn’t know them but they knew of me. They kindly loaded up our bags onto the boat and when I went to give them a dollar they said pushed my hand away and said no charge. Really? Three poor and hungry children just wanted to give back….
When teams are here I always encourage them to go hut to hut. Whether it’s just to play with the children in those homes – read a story – share a testimony – do a survey – for whatever reason it might be – I think it’s important to visit the homes of the locals.
I love to hear the Americans describe their experiences. I ALWAYS hear things like:
- I walked into the house and they gave up their seat just for me.
- I walked into their home and they offered me a mango. There were all these children who were hungry and I’m an American. But they offered me their last fruit.
- I walked into a home and asked if I could pray with them. When I was done – they asked if they could pray for me!
- I did nothing but read a story and they thanked me over and over again. They asked for God to bless “ME”.
There is something so incredibly special about the kindness of strangers! There are many people who write me random emails – we’ve never even met – but they reach out to me. I was in the grocery store in the states this past summer and I was short $4.80. How embarrassing!! I had only brought in cash with me and I didn’t have enough money to pay. As I started to put things back on the shelf – a kind lady handed the cashier a $5.00 bill!
It’s a rarity these days for strangers to drop what they’re doing to help someone they don’t even know. But from time to time I am truly blessed by their kindness. And here in Haiti – I’m telling you – it happens every day!
So today – I’m thankful for the kindness of strangers!
For the smiles and waves and goodness of people I don’t know!