Short-term trippers often ask me if their presence here really matters? The needs seem so big and it’s easy to get discouraged. It’s hard sometimes to see the big picture – or even notice the small changes when you’re here for such a short trip.
What teams don’t understand is that they have a way of accomplishing things in one week that would take us months to do! We could never reach as many children as teams do! We could never paint as many nails as the teams do! We could never play ball and love on the street kids the way the teams do! There simply isn’t enough of us here full-time to pull off the amazing things that teams can do!
There are several teenagers that won’t come to any activity we schedule. We offer free food and a bonfire on the beach and they still won’t come. But teams come in and play basketball. Those same teenagers that won’t have anything to do with us want to play ball with the Americans! Somehow through the course of the game a relationship is formed. We had been here for a year and couldn’t get them to do anything but look at us. The team played with them and that day those same teenagers showed up at the teen conference! A few of those boys still attend our events!
My neighbor has a horrible temper. In the year that we’ve been here we’ve never seen her smile. She is raising her two grandkids – two rough little boys no more than 10 years old. Those little boys are a lot of trouble no doubt. But she doesn’t just whip them when they make bad choices. She BEATS them. There have been times that those boys have come to my clinic and I’ve had to clean their wounds.
There was a team that came to Haiti in May. They brought jump ropes. They began playing with the children right in front of our home. We noticed that the grandma came out and held the jump rope with the kids. For the first time I saw a smile on this woman’s face. The next thing I know she’s actually jumping!! She was smiling and laughing. We’ve been here for a year and NEVER ONCE did she smile in our presence. I can’t help but feel like a seed was planted that day. Before she would never let us pray with her. Since then I’ve been able to make small chit-chat with her. She’s even allowed for some of the team members to pray in her home.
These are just a few of the dozens and dozens of changes we’ve seen since moving here.
Maybe these things seem like small things – but in a land dedicated to satan – I praise God for every seed planted!
So today I am thankful for short-term missionaries!
For those that come here to help advance the NWHCM ministry!